follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

religion

[ri-lij-uh n] /rɪˈlɪdʒ ən/
noun
1.
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2.
a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects:
the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3.
the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices:
a world council of religions.
4.
the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.:
to enter religion.
5.
the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
6.
something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience:
to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
7.
religions, Archaic. religious rites:
painted priests performing religions deep into the night.
8.
Archaic. strict faithfulness; devotion:
a religion to one's vow.
Idioms
9.
get religion, Informal.
  1. to acquire a deep conviction of the validity of religious beliefs and practices.
  2. to resolve to mend one's errant ways:
    The company got religion and stopped making dangerous products.
Origin
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English religioun (< Old French religion) < Latin religiōn- (stem of religiō) conscientiousness, piety, equivalent to relig(āre) to tie, fasten (re- re- + ligāre to bind, tie; cf. ligament) + -iōn- -ion; cf. rely
Related forms
religionless, adjective
antireligion, adjective
nonreligion, noun
subreligion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for get religion

religion

/rɪˈlɪdʒən/
noun
1.
belief in, worship of, or obedience to a supernatural power or powers considered to be divine or to have control of human destiny
2.
any formal or institutionalized expression of such belief the Christian religion
3.
the attitude and feeling of one who believes in a transcendent controlling power or powers
4.
(mainly RC Church) the way of life determined by the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience entered upon by monks, friars, and nuns to enter religion
5.
something of overwhelming importance to a person football is his religion
6.
(archaic)
  1. the practice of sacred ritual observances
  2. sacred rites and ceremonies
Word Origin
C12: via Old French from Latin religiō fear of the supernatural, piety, probably from religāre to tie up, from re- + ligāre to bind
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for get religion
religion
c.1200, "state of life bound by monastic vows," also "conduct indicating a belief in a divine power," from Anglo-Fr. religiun (11c.), from O.Fr. religion "religious community," from L. religionem (nom. religio) "respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods," in L.L. "monastic life" (5c.); according to Cicero, derived from relegare "go through again, read again," from re- "again" + legere "read" (see lecture). However, popular etymology among the later ancients (and many modern writers) connects it with religare "to bind fast" (see rely), via notion of "place an obligation on," or "bond between humans and gods." Another possible origin is religiens "careful," opposite of negligens. Meaning "particular system of faith" is recorded from c.1300.
"To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name." [Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, 1885]
Modern sense of "recognition of, obedience to, and worship of a higher, unseen power" is from 1530s. Religious is first recorded early 13c. Transferred sense of "scrupulous, exact" is recorded from 1590s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for get religion

get religion

verb phrase

To be chastened; learn proper behavior at last; become a convert: It appears that Mr. Reagan has got religion on the subject of environmentalism

[1884+; in the strict sense of religious conversion, found by 1772]


religion

Related Terms

get religion


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with get religion
Be converted; also, decide to behave in an upright, ethical way. For example, After the children were born, John got religion and joined the church, or After years of total selfishness, she suddenly got religion and is doing all kinds of volunteer work. [ Second half of 1700s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for get religion

religion

For figures on Adherents of All Religions by Continent, see Table I; for Adherents in the U.S., see Table II

Learn more about religion with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for religion

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for get

4
5
Scrabble Words With Friends