|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.||chiefly 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|
|a. the practice of sacred ritual observances|
|b. sacred rites and ceremonies|
|[C12: via Old French from Latin religiō fear of the supernatural, piety, probably from religāre to tie up, from |
"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.
see get religion.
For figures on Adherents of All Religions by Continent, see Table I; for Adherents in the U.S., see Table II
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