- A building set apart for Christian worship.
- A Jewish or heathen temple.(Obs)
- A formally organized body of Christian believers worshiping together."When they had ordained them elders in every church." [Acts xiv. 23.]
- A body of Christian believers, holding the same creed, observing the same rites, and acknowledging the same ecclesiastical authority; a denomination; as, the Roman Catholic church; the Presbyterian church .
- The collective body of Christians.
- Any body of worshipers; as, the Jewish church; the church of Brahm.
- The aggregate of religious influences in a community; ecclesiastical influence, authority, etc.; as, to array the power of the church against some moral evil."Remember that both church and state are properly the rulers of the people, only because they are their benefactors." [Bulwer.]
Note: ☞ Church is often used in composition to denote something belonging or relating to the church; as, church authority; church history; church member; church music, etc.
Etymology: OE. chirche chireche cherche, Scot. kirk, from AS. circe cyrice; akin to D. kerk, Icel. kirkja, Sw. kyrka, Dan. kirke, G. kirche, OHG. chirihha; all fr. Gr. kyriako`n the Lord's house, fr. kyriako`s concerning a master or lord, fr. ky`rios master, lord, fr. ky^ros power, might; akin to Skr. çūra hero, Zend. çura strong, OIr. caur cur, hero. Cf. Kirk