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definition of the word religion

by the Wiktionnary

Rank of this word in the English language, from analyzing texts from Project Gutenberg.
ourselves pale happiness #914: religion dress degree spoken

From Latin religiō (moral obligation, worship) < possibly religō (tie back, fasten up) < prefix re- (back) + ligō (to tie).



religion (plural religions)

  1. A system of practices which act according to beliefs, including belief in the existence of at least one of the following: a human soul or spirit, a deity or higher being, or self after the death of one’s body.
    • He couldn’t abide by any religion that didn’t allow for wrongdoers to be punished after death.
  2. A number of customs and rituals associated with such beliefs.
    • When it comes to religion, she doesn’t believe, but she loves to attend the ceremonies.
  3. Anything that involves the association of people in a manner resembling a religious institution or cult.
    • At this point, Star Trek has really become a religion.
  4. Any system or institution which one engages with in order to foster a sense of meaning or relevance in relation to something greater than oneself.

Generally speaking, certain systems of belief that do not involve the existence of one or more deities, such as Buddhism, can be considered a religion, though some people prefer a stricter definition that excludes the possibility of a non-theistic religion. Others are in favor of a very general definition of religion: that any belief, or lack thereof, such as atheism, or system of beliefs, such as science, is a kind of religion or part of a religion. In language, such uses are generally considered humorous (highly dependent on context.)

Definition from Wiktionary
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