Pronunciation: (chûrch), [key]
1. a building for public Christian worship.
2. public worship of God or a religious service in such a building: to attend church regularly.
3. (sometimes cap.) the whole body of Christian believers; Christendom.
4. (sometimes cap.) any division of this body professing the same creed and acknowledging the same ecclesiastical authority; a Christian denomination: the Methodist Church.
5. that part of the whole Christian body, or of a particular denomination, belonging to the same city, country, nation, etc.
6. a body of Christians worshipping in a particular building or constituting one congregation: She is a member of this church.
7. ecclesiastical organization, power, and affairs, as distinguished from the state: separation of church and state; The missionary went wherever the church sent him.
8. the clergy and religious officials of a Christian denomination.
9. the Christian faith: a return of intellectuals to the church.
10. (cap.) the Christian Church before the Reformation.
11. (cap.) the Roman Catholic Church.
12. the clerical profession or calling: After much study and contemplation, he was prepared to enter the church.
13. a place of public worship of a non-Christian religion.
14. any non-Christian religious society, organization, or congregation: the Jewish church.

1. to conduct or bring to church, esp. for special services.
2. South Midland and Southern subject to church discipline.
3. to perform a church service of thanksgiving for (a woman after childbirth).

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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