1. A building for public, especially Christian worship.
2. often Church
a. The company of all Christians regarded as a spiritual body.
b. A specified Christian denomination: the Presbyterian Church.
c. A congregation.
3. Public divine worship in a church; a religious service: goes to church at Christmas and Easter.
4. The clerical profession; clergy.
5. Ecclesiastical power as distinguished from the secular: the separation of church and state.
tr.v. churched, church·ing, church·es
To conduct a church service for, especially to perform a religious service for (a woman after childbirth).
Of or relating to the church; ecclesiastical.
[Middle English chirche, from Old English cirice, ultimately from Medieval Greek kūrikon, from Late Greek kūriakon (dōma), the Lord's (house), neuter of Greek kūriakos, of the lord, from kūrios, lord; see keuə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.