Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

Beliefs and teachings common to more than one religion

absolution

noun

the act of forgiving someone for something wrong they have done, especially for a religious fault

angel

noun

a spirit that in some religions is believed to live in heaven with God. In pictures, angels are shown as people with wings.

angelic

adjective

relating to angels

archangel

noun

an important angel (=a spirit that lives in heaven) in the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian religions

article of faith

noun

something that people who support a particular religion or idea believe completely, although it has not been proved

blaspheme

verb

to say offensive things about God or someone’s religious beliefs

blasphemous

adjective

offensive to God or someone’s religious beliefs

blasphemy

noun

something that is considered offensive to God or someone’s religious beliefs

bless

verb

if God blesses someone or something, he helps and protects them

blessing

noun

protection and help offered by God

chastity

noun

a way of life that does not include any sexual activity, especially for religious reasons

cleanse

verb

if God cleanses you of a sin, your sin is forgiven

conversion

noun

a change in someone’s beliefs, especially their religious beliefs

creed

noun

a set of religious beliefs

creed

noun

a set of beliefs about how people should live or behave

cult

noun

a religious system in which people worship a particular god, person, or object

damnation

noun

the act of sending someone to hell after they have died, because of the bad things that they have done, or the state of being in hell, according to some religions

the damned

adjective

people who have been sent to hell after they have died, because of the bad things that they have done, according to some religions

devotion

noun

strong religious feeling

divinity

noun

the study of religions and religious belief

ecstasy

noun

an extreme emotional religious state during which you do not realize what is happening around you

faith

noun

belief in a god or gods

faith

noun

a religion

fanaticism

noun

very strong religious or political beliefs that make someone behave in an unreasonable way

fundamentalism

noun

the belief that the original laws of a religion should be followed very strictly and not be changed

God-given

adjective

given by God to someone

grace

noun

according to religious belief, the love and kindness that God gives to people

grace

noun

according to religious belief, the condition of people when they are loved and forgiven by God

heresy

noun

an action or belief that opposes the official principles of a religion and is considered wrong

holy war

noun

a war that people with a particular religion believe that God wants them to fight

incarnation

noun

in some religions, one in a series of lives that a person may have

judgment day

noun

in some religions, a day in the future when it is believed that people will be punished or rewarded by God for the things that they have done during their life

Kabbalah

noun

a religious system based on the ideas of judaism that explains holy writings through mysticism

the Last Judgment

according to Christian, Jewish, and Muslim beliefs, the time at the end of the world when God judges everyone for what they did while they were alive

Mammon

noun

money considered as a god or as the most important thing to have or to get

miracle

noun

an event that cannot be explained according to the laws of nature and is considered to be an act of God

mission

noun

the activity of people who are sent to a place by a religious organization to teach people there about a particular religion

monotheism

noun

belief in only one God

multi-faith

adjective

involving several different religions

mystery

noun

something relating to religion or God that you cannot explain using reason or science but that you believe is true

mystical

adjective

relating to or involving mysterious religious or spiritual powers

mystical

adjective

relating to mystics or mysticism

mysticism

noun

the belief that you can understand God directly by praying and meditating, or the practice of doing this

orthodoxy

noun

the traditional beliefs and practices of a religion or political system

pantheism

noun

belief in all the gods of all religions

pantheism

noun

the existence of several gods in some religions

penance

noun

punishment or suffering that you accept, especially because of your religious beliefs, to show that you are sorry for something bad that you have done

perdition

noun

according to some religions, the state of being punished after you die for the bad things that you have done

persuasion

noun

a set of political or religious beliefs

piety

noun

strong religious belief and behaviour

polytheism

noun

the belief that there is more than one god

predestination

noun

the belief that people have no control over events because God or another force has arranged everything that is going to happen

predestination

noun

the belief that God decided at the beginning of time who would go to heaven and who would not

prophet

noun

according to some religions, a man sent by God to lead people and teach them their religious beliefs

prophetess

noun

a woman who is a prophet

prophetic

adjective

relating to or like a prophet

rebirth

noun

the belief, according to some religions, that a person’s spirit is born again into another body after death

reincarnation

noun

the belief that after you die you can be born again as a different person, animal, or thing

religion

noun

the belief in the existence of a god or gods

religion

noun

a system of beliefs in a god or gods that has its own ceremonies and traditions

religiosity

noun

extreme interest and belief in religion

religious

adjective

relating to religion, or to the beliefs and practices of a particular religion

repent

verb

to recognize that you have done something wrong and to feel ashamed and sorry about it, especially when you have done something against the rules of your religion

repentance

noun

the act of showing that you feel ashamed and sorry because you recognize that you have done something wrong, especially against the rules of your religion

repentant

adjective

ashamed and sorry because you have done something against the rules of your religion, and are willing to change your habits

revelation

noun

a message that is believed to have come from God

sacred

adjective

connected with religion

scholastic

adjective

connected with scholasticism

scholasticism

noun

a method of learning that attempts to connect religion and thought and is based on ancient writings

sectarian

adjective

caused by disagreements among people from different religious groups

sectarian

adjective

involving or intended to help only one religious group

seraph

noun

an angel of the highest rank

sin

noun

an action, thought, or way of behaving that is wrong according to religious laws

sin

verb

to do something that is wrong according to religious rules

soul

noun

the spiritual part of a person that most religions believe continues to exist after their body dies

spirit

noun

the part of a person that many people believe continues to exist after death

spirituality

noun

religious beliefs

taboo

adjective

something that is taboo is not allowed by a particular religion or culture

taboo

noun

something that is not allowed by a particular religion

taboo

noun

the system in some religions in which certain actions must not be done and certain objects must not be touched because they have great spiritual importance

teaching

noun

the ideas or principles of a religious, political, or moral system of a particular person or group

theism

noun

belief in a god or in gods

theological

adjective

relating to the study of God and religion

theology

noun

a set of religious beliefs

transmigration

noun

a process that some religions believe happens after someone dies, in which the spirit of that person moves into the body of another person or animal

unclean

adjective

unclean food or drink cannot be eaten or drunk by people belonging to a particular religion

vision

noun

a person or image that appears to someone, for example in a dream or a religious experience

visionary

adjective

relating to a religious vision

visitation

noun

an occasion when people think they have seen a spirit or have received a punishment from God

vocation

noun

a strong feeling that you should be doing a particular thing with your life, especially because you believe that God wants you to do it

heretical

adjective

mystically

adverb

polytheistic

adjective

prophetically

adverb

scholastically

adverb

theologically

adverb

speak in tongues

to speak in strange languages that no one understands as a result of extreme religious excitement

food rave

a very large party where people eat, sell or share many different types of food, usually held outside or in a large public building

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

profit margin

the difference between how much money you get when you sell something and how much it costs you...

Open Dictionary

dead white (European) male

a man … whose achievements may have been overestimated because he belonged to the gender and ethnic group … that was dominant at the time

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog