Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to a church.
  • adj. Appropriate for or suggestive of a church: "aspires to the pure fragrance of churchly incense” ( Martin Bernheimer).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Pertaining to or relating to the church, its government, forms, or ceremonies; ecclesiastical.
  • adj. Devoted to, or inclined to attach great importance to, the order and ritual of a particular section of the Christian church.
  • adj. In accordance with ecclesiatical standards or ceremonies; appropriate for or befitting a church.
  • adj. Characteristic of a church; churchy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to, or suitable for, the church; ecclesiastical.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining or relating to the church, or to its government, forms, or ceremonies; ecclesiastical.
  • Devoted to, or inclined to attach great importance to, the order and ritual of a particular section of the Christian church.
  • In accordance with ecclesiastical standards or ceremonies; appropriate for a church: as, a churchly building; churchly music, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. resembling or suggesting or appropriate to a church

Etymologies

From Middle English *chircheli, from Old English ċiriċlīċ ("ecclesiastical"), equivalent to church +‎ -ly. Cognate with Scots kirklyk, kirklike ("ecclesiastical"), Dutch kerkelijk ("ecclesiastic, ecclesiastical"), German kirchlich ("ecclesiastical, religious, ecclesiastic"), Swedish kyrklig ("ecclesiastical"). Compare also churchlike. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This is the kind of churchly message I can go along with.

    chicagojo Diary Entry

  • It is true that "sola scriptura" has all-too often functioned as a licence for individualism - "every man his own pope" - but it originated in a context which emphasised confession as a corporate, "churchly" activity.

    The Boar's Head Tavern

  • They see that as part of their churchly mission, says Matthew Burbank, a political expert at the University of Utah.

    Mitt Romney leads the charge as Mormonism moves into the American mainstream

  • Aaron Monts, pastor of Ikon Christian Community in San Francisco, stood before his flock on a recent Sunday, resplendent in his version of churchly garb: a tan hoodie, plaid shirt and sneakers.

    Hipsters Flock To Ikon Christian Community

  • It seems oddly coincidental, too, that in a movie teeming with churchly blondes, including Bethany's mother (Helen Hunt), the one meanspirited character in the movie—Bethany's rival Malina Birch (Sonya Balmores Chung)—is also the darkest of skin and blackest of hair.

    'Arthur': He Drinks, Movie Falls Down

  • Dan Deacon, BromstPart hippie-dippy community art project, part "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," Bromst is a dynamic, schizophrenic listen: churchly quiet a singular second, cacophonously ear-splitting a next.

    The Best Albums Of 2009, In Bigger Than The Sound | Industry Fokery

  • Yet for all its eclecticism it builds in a single arc -- its core the long second movement, propelled upward by quasi-Minimalist rhythmic repetitions -- until the exuberant jam session is capped by the churchly sobriety of the orchestral idiom, returning as if to remind everyone of where they are, though more focusing the mood than interrupting it.

    In performance: NSO and Yo-Yo Ma

  • Also, my mom adored him, so she would probably support the union somewhere deep down under her churchly morals.

    Kiss It

  • Invited to join the de Latours for dinner, how could Father Meyer of Milwaukee, or Monsignor Brody of New York, or Bishop Cantwell of Los Angeles, or any of the hundreds of other churchly guests who made the pilgrimage to Rutherford consider any other Communion wine?

    LAST CALL

  • And the churchly people who raised me spent a lot less time talking about hell and damnation and a lot more time talking about charity.

    RELIGION Blog | The Dallas Morning News

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.