8 Words That Are Older Than You Think


[ih-klee-zee-as-ti-kuh l] /ɪˌkli ziˈæs tɪ kəl/
of or pertaining to the church or the clergy; churchly; clerical; not secular.
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English; see Ecclesiastes, -ical
Related forms
ecclesiastically, adverb
antiecclesiastical, adjective
antiecclesiastically, adverb
interecclesiastical, adjective
interecclesiastically, adverb
nonecclesiastical, adjective
nonecclesiastically, adverb
unecclesiastically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ecclesiastical
  • It's a nice ecclesiastical Hymn.
  • He intones the words with a dramatic ecclesiastical tremor.
  • It is certainly nothing novel to talk about academia's ecclesiastical roots.
  • Political and ecclesiastical bigwigs have gathered for the ceremony.
  • Up beyond the altar, the ecclesiastical and national flags hung motionlessly side by side, church and state aligned.
  • Calls for ending the ban on women priests are only a blip on the ecclesiastical radar screen.
  • Interestingly, it was ecclesiastical blessings that gave the trade a much-needed boost in this boot-shaped country.
  • The remainder of his writings are concerned with ecclesiastical history.
  • In the church's early days, excommunication meant any ecclesiastical penalty.
  • Their acts are a precious monument of ecclesiastical antiquity.
British Dictionary definitions for ecclesiastical


of or relating to the Christian Church
Derived Forms
ecclesiastically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ecclesiastical

early 15c., from ecclesiastic + -al (1). Related: Ecclesiastically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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