AskDefine | Define worship

The Collaborative Dictionary

Worship \Wor"ship\, n. [OE. worshipe, wur[eth]scipe, AS. weor[eth]scipe; weor[eth] worth + -scipe -ship. See Worth, a., and -ship.] [1913 Webster]
Excellence of character; dignity; worth; worthiness. [Obs.] --Shak. [1913 Webster] A man of worship and honour. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Elfin, born of noble state, And muckle worship in his native land. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]
Honor; respect; civil deference. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Of which great worth and worship may be won. --Spenser. [1913 Webster] Then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. --Luke xiv.
[1913 Webster]
Hence, a title of honor, used in addresses to certain magistrates and others of rank or station. [1913 Webster] My father desires your worships' company. --Shak. [1913 Webster]
The act of paying divine honors to the Supreme Being; religious reverence and homage; adoration, or acts of reverence, paid to God, or a being viewed as God. "God with idols in their worship joined." --Milton. [1913 Webster] The worship of God is an eminent part of religion, and prayer is a chief part of religious worship. --Tillotson. [1913 Webster]
Obsequious or submissive respect; extravagant admiration; adoration. [1913 Webster] 'T is your inky brows, your black silk hair, Your bugle eyeballs, nor your cheek of cream, That can my spirits to your worship. --Shak. [1913 Webster]
An object of worship. [1913 Webster] In attitude and aspect formed to be At once the artist's worship and despair. --Longfellow. [1913 Webster] Devil worship, Fire worship, Hero worship, etc. See under Devil, Fire, Hero, etc. [1913 Webster]
Worship \Wor"ship\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. WorshipedWorshipped; p. pr. & vb. n. Worshiping or Worshipping.] [1913 Webster]
To respect; to honor; to treat with civil reverence. [Obsoles.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Our grave . . . shall have a tongueless mouth, Not worshiped with a waxen epitaph. --Shak. [1913 Webster] This holy image that is man God worshipeth. --Foxe. [1913 Webster]
To pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect and veneration; to perform religious exercises in honor of; to adore; to venerate. [1913 Webster] But God is to be worshiped. --Shak. [1913 Webster] When all our fathers worshiped stocks and stones. --Milton. [1913 Webster]
To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission, as a lover; to adore; to idolize. [1913 Webster] With bended knees I daily worship her. --Carew. [1913 Webster] Syn: To adore; revere; reverence; bow to; honor. [1913 Webster]
Worship \Wor"ship\, v. i. To perform acts of homage or adoration; esp., to perform religious service. [1913 Webster] Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. --John iv.
[1913 Webster] Was it for this I have loved . . . and worshiped in silence? --Longfellow. [1913 Webster]

Word Net



1 the activity of worshipping
2 a feeling of profound love and admiration [syn: adoration]


1 love unquestioningly and uncritically or to excess; venerate as an idol; "Many teenagers idolized the Beatles" [syn: idolize, idolise, hero-worship, revere]
2 show devotion to (a deity); "Many Hindus worship Shiva"
3 attend religious services; "They worship in the traditional manner" [also: worshipping, worshipped]

Moby Thesaurus

Amor, Christian love, Eros, Platonic love, accord respect to, admiration, admire, adoration, adore, affection, agape, apotheosis, apotheosize, appreciate, appreciation, approbation, approval, ardency, ardor, attachment, awe, bodily love, breathless adoration, brotherly love, caritas, charity, cherish, churchgoing, conformity, conjugal love, consideration, courtesy, cultism, dearly love, defer to, deference, deification, deify, desire, devotedness, devotion, devoutness, do homage to, do service, dote, dutifulness, duty, entertain respect for, esteem, estimation, exaggerated respect, exalt, faith, faithful love, faithfulness, fancy, favor, fervor, flame, fondness, free love, free-lovism, great respect, heart, hero worship, hero-worship, high regard, hold dear, hold in esteem, hold in reverence, homage, honor, idolatry, idolism, idolization, idolize, lasciviousness, libido, like, liking, look up to, love, love of God, love to distraction, lovemaking, married love, observance, passion, pay homage to, physical love, pietism, piety, piousness, popular regard, popularity, prestige, prize, regard, religion, religionism, religiousness, respect, revere, reverence, reverential regard, sentiment, sex, sexual love, shine, spiritual love, tender feeling, tender passion, theism, think highly of, think much of, think well of, treasure, truelove, uxoriousness, value, venerate, veneration, weakness, worshipfulness, yearning
see Worship



  • a RP /ˈwɜːʃɪp/
  • a US /ˈwɝʃɪp/


  1. The devotion accorded to a deity or to a sacred object
  2. The religious ceremonies that express this devotion
  3. In the context of "by extension": The ardent love of a person


devotion accorded to a deity or to a sacred object
  • Czech: uctívání
  • Finnish: palvonta
  • French: culte, adoration, vénération
  • German: Verehrung, Anbetung
  • Kurdish: peristin ,
  • Swedish: dyrkan
The religious ceremonies that express this devotion
  • French: culte
  • German: Gottesdienst, Verehrung, Anbetung
  • Swedish: tillbedjan
The ardent love of a person
  • French: culte
  • German: Verehrung, Anbetung
  • Swedish: dyrkan


  1. To honor and adore, especially as a deity.
  2. To participate in religious ceremonies.


to honor and adore, especially as a deity
  • Czech: uctívat
  • Dutch: vereren
  • Finnish: palvoa
  • French: vénérer, adorer
  • German: verehren, anbeten
  • Kurdish: peristin,
  • Swedish: dyrka, tillbe
To participate in religious ceremonies
''This article refers to the religious act. For the album by Michael W. Smith see Worship (album). For the style see Worship (style).
Worship usually refers to specific acts of religious devotion, typically directed to one or more deities. It is the informal term in English for what sociologists of religion call cultus, the body of practices and traditions that correspond to theology.
Religious worship may be performed individually, within informal groups, or as part of an formal meeting. It occurs in a variety of locations including houses, in rented venues, outdoors, or in buildings specially constructed for the purpose, referred to as places of worship. Most religions place an emphasis on regular worship and many organise meetings for this purpose at frequent intervals (often weekly).
In its older sense in the English language of worthiness or respect (Anglo-Saxon worthscripe), worship may sometimes refer to actions directed at members of higher social classes (such as lords or monarchs) or to particularly esteemed persons (such as a lover).

Typical elements of worship

Practices in worship vary between religions but typically include one or more of the following:
These elements may be practiced by all the worshipers, or by a designated leader.

Adoration versus veneration

Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy distinguish between adoration or latria (Latin adoratio, Greek latreia, [λατρεια]) which is due to God alone, and veneration or dulia (Latin veneratio, Greek douleia [δουλεια]), which may be lawfully offered to the saints. The external acts of veneration resemble those of worship, but differ in their object and intent. Protestant Christians question whether such a distinction is always maintained in actual devotional practice, especially at the level of folk religion.
Orthodox Judaism and orthodox Sunni Islam hold that for all practical purposes veneration should be considered the same as prayer; Orthodox Judaism (arguably with the exception of some Chasidic practices), orthodox Sunni Islam, and most kinds of Protestantism forbid veneration of saints or angels, classifying these actions as akin to idolatry.
Similarly, Jehovah's Witnesses assert that many actions classified as patriotic by Protestant groups, such as saluting a flag, are equivalent to worship and are therefore considered idolatrous as well.

Worship in various religions

Worship in Christianity

see Christian worship see Anglican devotions see Catholic devotions see Church service

Worship in Hinduism

Worship in Islam

According to the Qur'an, mankind was created only for the purpose to worship God (Qur'an 51:56). Prayer or pilgrimage are just special forms of worship; obedience to God and the attempt to assume the attributes of God as far as possible (2:138) are forms of worship which should ideally encompass every human action. See e.g..

Worship in Judaism

see Jewish services

Worship in Sikhism

In Sikhism, Worship takes after the Guru Granth Sahib. In the Guru Granth Sahib is the work of the 10 Sikh Gurus all in one. Sikhs worship God and only one God, known as "One Creator" or (Waheguru) "Destroyer of Darkness". The Guru Granth Sahib is known as the final Sikh Guru by Guru Gohbind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru.

Worship in Buddhism

see Buddhist devotion

Aspects of worship


worship in Amharic: አምልኮ
worship in Catalan: Adoració
worship in Czech: Bohoslužba
worship in German: Anbetung
worship in Modern Greek (1453-): Λατρεία
worship in Spanish: Adoración
worship in Esperanto: Diservo
worship in French: Adoration
worship in Scottish Gaelic: Aoradh
worship in Korean: 예배
worship in Dutch: Aanbidding
worship in Japanese: 礼拝
worship in Polish: Nabożeństwo
worship in Portuguese: Adoração
worship in Russian: Богопочитание
worship in Simple English: Worship
worship in Slovak: Bohoslužba
worship in Finnish: Palvonta
worship in Tagalog: Pagsamba
worship in Chinese: 崇拜
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