Definition of congregation noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˌkɒŋɡrɪˈɡeɪʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌkɑːŋɡrɪˈɡeɪʃn//
    [countable + singular or plural verb]
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  1. 1a group of people who are gathered together in a church to worship God, not including the priest and choir The congregation stood to sing the hymn. CollocationsReligionBeing religious believe in God/​Christ/​Allah/​free will/​predestination/​heaven and hell/​an afterlife/​reincarnation be/​become a believer/​an atheist/​an agnostic/​a Christian/​Muslim/​Hindu/​Buddhist, etc. convert to/​practise/ (especially US English) practice a religion/​Buddhism/​Catholicism/​Christianity/​Islam/​Judaism, etc. go to church/(North American English) temple (= the synagogue) go to the local church/​mosque/​synagogue/​gurdwara belong to a church/​a religious community join/​enter the church/​a convent/​a monastery/​a religious sect/​the clergy/​the priesthood praise/​worship/​obey/​serve/​glorify GodCelebrations and ritual attend/​hold/​conduct/​lead a service perform a ceremony/​a rite/​a ritual/​a baptism/​the Hajj/​a mitzvah carry out/​perform a sacred/​burial/​funeral/​fertility/​purification rite go on/​make a pilgrimage celebrate Christmas/​Easter/​Eid/​Ramadan/​Hanukkah/​Passover/​Diwali observe/​break the Sabbath/​a fast/​Ramadan deliver/​preach/​hear a sermon lead/​address the congregation say/​recite a prayer/​blessingReligious texts and ideas preach/​proclaim/​spread the word of God/​the Gospel/​the message of Islam study/​follow the dharma/​the teachings of Buddha read/​study/​understand/​interpret scripture/​the Bible/​the Koran/​the gospel/​the Torah be based on/​derive from divine revelation commit/​consider something heresy/​sacrilegeReligious belief and experience seek/​find/​gain enlightenment/​wisdom strengthen/​lose your faith keep/​practise/​practice/​abandon the faith save/​purify/​lose your soul obey/​follow/​keep/​break/​violate a commandment/​Islamic law/​Jewish law be/​accept/​do God’s will receive/​experience divine grace achieve/​attain enlightenment/​salvation/​nirvana undergo a conversion/​rebirth/​reincarnation hear/​answer a prayer commit/​confess/​forgive a sin do/​perform penance
  2. 2a group of people who regularly attend a particular place of worship
  3. 3a group or collection of people, animals or things Large congregations of birds may cause public harm.
  4. Word Originlate Middle English in the more general sense of a gathering: from Latin congregatio(n-), from congregare ‘collect (into a flock)’, from con- ‘together’ + gregare (from grex, greg- ‘a flock’).Extra examples He had established a small congregation in New York City. The minister led the congregation in a hymn. The priest stood up to address the congregation. a lay minister serving a small rural congregation members of local congregations people attending the congregation where she and her family worship
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: congregation