From Old French congregacion, from Latin congregātiō, from congregare "to herd together", itself from com- "together" + gregare "to collect into a flock, gather" (from grex "a flock, herd"); adopted c.1340 by the English Bible translator William Tyndale, to render the Greek (ekklesia) ('those called together, (popular) meeting'; hence Latin ecclesia 'church') in his New Testament, and preferred by 16th century Reformers instead of church.
- Rhymes: -eɪʃən
congregation (plural congregations)
- The act of congregating or collecting together.
- A gathering of faithful in a temple, church, synagogue, mosque or other place of worship. It can also refer to the people who are present at a devotional service in the building, particularly in contrast to the pastor, minister, imam, rabbi etc. and/or choir, who may be seated apart from the general congregation or lead the service (notably in responsory form).
- A Roman Congregation, a main department of the Vatican administration of the universal church.
- A corporate body whose members gather for worship, or the members of such a body.
- Any large gathering of people.
- A group of eagles.
- (Britain, Oxford University slang) The main body of university staff, comprising academics, administrative staff, heads of colleges, etc.
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