• WordNet 3.6
    • n excommunication the act of banishing a member of a church from the communion of believers and the privileges of the church; cutting a person off from a religious society
    • n excommunication the state of being excommunicated
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1924, Pope Urban VIII threatened to excommunicate snuff users.
    • n Excommunication The act of communicating or ejecting; esp., an ecclesiastical censure whereby the person against whom it is pronounced is, for the time, cast out of the communication of the church; exclusion from fellowship in things spiritual.☞ excommunication is of two kinds, the lesser and the greater; the lesser excommunication is a separation or suspension from partaking of the Eucharist; the greater is an absolute execution of the offender from the church and all its rights and advantages, even from social intercourse with the faithful.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n excommunication A cutting off or casting out from communication; deprivation of communion or the privileges of intercourse; specifically, the formal exclusion of a person from religious communion and privileges. Excommunication, often with very severe consequences, was practised in various ways among the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Jews, and is still in use among the Mohammedans. In the early Christian church it consisted simply in the exclusion of an offending member from fellowship by some formal action, and this is the practice in most modern Protestant churches. As the power of the church increased, excommunication became more complicated in method and severe in effect. As now practised in the Roman Catholic and related churches, it may be either partial or total, temporary or perpetual. By the partial, called the minor or lesser excommunication, the offender is suspended from the use of the sacraments, and perhaps from the privileges of church worship; by the total, or the major or greater excommunication, he is also cut off from the society and fellowship of the church, and it may be from all intercourse with its members. Further distinctions as to the sentence and its effects are made in the Roman Catholic Church. See anathema, discipline.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Excommunication act of expelling from the communion of a church—(Milt.) Excommun′ion
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  • Sir Edward Coke
    Sir Edward Coke
    “Corporations cannot commit treason, or be outlawed or excommunicated, for they have no souls.”
  • Georg C. Lichtenberg
    “With a pen in my hand I have successfully stormed bulwarks from which others armed with sword and excommunication have been repulsed.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. excommunicatio,: cf. F. excommunication,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
From Late L. excommunicāre—L. ex, out, communis, common.


In literature:

No sooner was the excommunication known, than the effects of it appeared.
"The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part A. From the Britons of Early Times to King John" by David Hume
They determined, by a general ordinance, all the cases in which excommunication could be used.
"The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part E. From Charles I. to Cromwell" by David Hume
Pastor De Cock placed himself in danger of excommunication because he was so rash as to advocate it.
"History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology" by John F. Hurst
Afterwards he excommunicated William for disregarding his oath, but William is said to have bought him off.
"The Cathedral Church of York" by A. Clutton-Brock
With a firm hand Stapledon endeavoured to restore order and quiet, and promulgated a decree by which all rebels were excommunicated.
"Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Exeter" by Percy Addleshaw
He likewise was excommunicated.
"The Life of Joan of Arc, Vol. 1 and 2 (of 2)" by Anatole France
And I am content to be with Moses in the desert, or with Elijah excommunicated from the Temple.
"Apologia pro Vita Sua" by John Henry Newman
After his excommunication in 1523 he made his headquarters at Strassburg, where he succeeded Matthew Zell.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 3" by Various
A sentence of excommunication was passed on the city, and King Henry hastened to Norwich to preside at the trial of the prisoners.
"Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Norwich" by C. H. B. Quennell
Excommunication is an arm as worn out at Constantinople as at Rome.
"Sketches The Carrier Pigeon, The Consul's Daughter, Walstein--Or A Cure For Melancholy, The Court Of Egypt, The Valley Of Thebes, Egyptian Thebes, Shoubra Eden And Lebanon, A Syrian Sketch, The Bosphorus, An Interview With A Great Turk, Munich, The Spirit Of Whiggism" by Benjamin Disraeli

In poetry:

What Excommunication can deprive
A pious soul that is in Christ alive,
Of Church-Communion? or cut off a limb,
That life and action both unite to him? For any circumstance of place or time,
Or mode or custom, which infers no crime?
"On Church Communion - Part II." by John Byrom

In news:

Sandro Magister has just posted a column on his website that is highly critical of the Curia's handling of the lifting of the excommunications of the SSPX bishops.
Would someone in Rome formally excommunicate me, please.
I want to be excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church because walking away will break my heart.
Hanks told him he had been excommunicated , and said that the court lasted six hours.
There was no process for voluntary withdrawal from the Mormon Church in the 1960s, so each of these kids had to be excommunicated —technically, for apostasy.
Mormon blogger, facing excommunication , resigns from church.
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Rather than wait for possible excommunication , Mormon blogger David Twede has resigned his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Margaret Mary McBride whom the Bishop of Phoenix, Arizona, declared automatically, latae sententiae, excommunicated for allegedly cooperating in a crime of abortion.
It follows that no cooperator is automatically excommunicated unless the cooperation itself amounts to procuring the abortion.
According to Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted, the nun was "automatically excommunicated " because she concurred in an ethics committee decision to abort the child of a gravely ill woman at the hospital in 2009.
The announcement of the ordinations follows a January decision by Pope Benedict to lift excommunications of the society's four bishops, including Bishop de Galarreta and controversial British-born Bishop Richard Williamson.
In March, the archbishop of St Louis excommunicated three women -- two Americans and a South African -- for participating in a woman's ordination.
As of this week, a former priest and nun and perhaps hundreds of other Roman Catholics in the Diocese of Lincoln can consider themselves excommunicated .
"We excommunicate these people," said Robert Gangi, executive director of the Correctional Association of New York, a prison-monitoring group.
On July 27, 1656, Amsterdam's Jewish community declared Baruch Spinoza excommunicated, and, at the age of 23, he became the most famous heretic in Judaism.

In science:

Regge theory, strings, baryon junctions, ropes and all that: cumbersome things of the past and irrelevant for RHIC physics? The “excommunication” of such non-perturbative phenomena from HI physics is suggested in B.
Collective flow and QCD phase transition