From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishchurchchurch /tʃɜːtʃ $ tʃɜːrtʃ/ ●●● S1 W1 noun 1 [countable]RRC a building where Christians go to worship → cathedral a short church service church bells2 [uncountable]RRC the religious ceremonies in a church Mrs Dobson invited us to dinner after church. My parents go to church every Sunday.at church We didn’t see you at church this morning.3 [countable] (also Church) one of the separate groups within the Christian religion the Catholic Church4 [singular, uncountable]RRCRELIGION the institution of the Christian religion, and all the priests and other ministers who are part of it the church’s attitude towards marriage separation of church and stateCOLLOCATIONSADJECTIVES/NOUN + church the local church (=the one in a particular area, or near where you live)The local church dates from the 12th century.a parish church British English (=the main Christian church in a particular area)This is the parish church for three villages near here.a country/town churchan attractive country church surrounded by treesa (Roman) Catholic churchI followed the crowds to the Roman Catholic church for Mass.verbsgo to church (also attend church formal) (=go to a regular religious ceremony in a church)Do you go to church?marry/get married in a churchI’d like to get married in a church. church + NOUNa church service (=a religious ceremony in a church)There’s a church service at 10:30 every Sunday morning.a church hall (=a large room in a church)The dance was held in the church hall.church musicchurch music for small choirschurch bellsI could hear the church bells ringing.a church towerI looked at the clock on the church tower.a church spire/steeple (=a church tower with a pointed top)The tall church spires could be seen from far away.the church choir (=a group of people who lead the singing in a church)Steve’s a member of the local church choir.a church wedding (=in a church)She wants to have a church wedding. THESAURUS – Meaning 3: one of the separate groups within the Christian religionreligious groupchurch one of the different groups within the Christian religion – used especially in namesThe Roman Catholic church is expanding.members of the Church of Englanddenomination a religious group that has slightly different beliefs from other groups who belong to the same religionOur staff come from churches of all denominations.Several denominations have developed among Jews.sect a religious group that has separated from a larger groupHe is a leader in the powerful Ansar Sunni Muslim sect.cult an extreme religious group that is not part of an established religionMembers of the cult all committed suicide on the same day.
Examples from the Corpuschurch• It may be no more than a little park near work or a church that you stop by during lunch hour.• Despite all obstacles, state conventions of black Baptist churches did form.• He took us to a Pentecostal meeting in one of the city's many black churches.• Even though I belong to the Catholic Church, I don't agree with everything it says.• The evangelical churches are particularly strong in the big cities.• I've seen her in church occasionally.• The number of divorcees remarrying in church has risen steadily since such weddings were sanctioned in 1981.• During the Middle Ages, living pictures of biblical stories were used in churches to educate the illiterate masses.• Prayer in schools may be against the separation of church and state that the Constitution requires.• Or does it simply make clear that the church tolerates a margin of contradictory views in which extremists can flourish?• The Church of England finally agreed to accept the ordination of women priests.• Do you go to church every Sunday?go to church• When I must go to church, I go.• Men who wanted to make something of themselves went to church, and they went well dressed.• In 1886, Llewellyn and his family were hissed and booed when they went to church.• They went to church because church was obligatory and they feared the consequences of non-attendance.• Would he, she wondered, expect her and Brian to go to church?• I only got in the car to go to church.• Afterwards we went to church and then sat and watched the sea for a long time.Origin church Old English cirice, from Late Greek kyriakon, from Greek kyriakos “of the lord”, from kyrios “lord, master”