• WordNet 3.6
    • n religion a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny "he lost his faith but not his morality"
    • n religion an institution to express belief in a divine power "he was raised in the Baptist religion","a member of his own faith contradicted him"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Books on religion outnumbered works of fiction by a 2 to 1 margin in 1870 England. Sixteen years later, novels surpassed religious works.
    • Religion (R. C. Ch) A monastic or religious order subject to a regulated mode of life; the religious state; as, to enter religion . "A good man was there of religion ."
    • Religion Specifically, conformity in faith and life to the precepts inculcated in the Bible, respecting the conduct of life and duty toward God and man; the Christian faith and practice. "Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion .""Religion will attend you . . . as a pleasant and useful companion in every proper place, and every temperate occupation of life."
    • Religion Strictness of fidelity in conforming to any practice, as if it were an enjoined rule of conduct. "Those parts of pleading which in ancient times might perhaps be material, but at this time are become only mere styles and forms, are still continued with much religion ."
    • Religion The outward act or form by which men indicate their recognition of the existence of a god or of gods having power over their destiny, to whom obedience, service, and honor are due; the feeling or expression of human love, fear, or awe of some superhuman and overruling power, whether by profession of belief, by observance of rites and ceremonies, or by the conduct of life; a system of faith and worship; a manifestation of piety; as, ethical religions; monotheistic religions; natural religion; revealed religion; the religion of the Jews; the religion of idol worshipers. "An orderly life so far as others are able to observe us is now and then produced by prudential motives or by dint of habit; but without seriousness there can be no religious principle at the bottom, no course of conduct from religious motives; in a word, there can be no religion .""Religion was] not, as too often now, used as equivalent for godliness; but . . . it expressed the outer form and embodiment which the inward spirit of a true or a false devotion assumed.""Religions , by which are meant the modes of divine worship proper to different tribes, nations, or communities, and based on the belief held in common by the members of them severally. . . . There is no living religion without something like a doctrine. On the other hand, a doctrine, however elaborate, does not constitute a religion .""Religion . . . means the conscious relation between man and God, and the expression of that relation in human conduct.""After the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.""The image of a brute, adorned
      With gay religions full of pomp and gold."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: In ancient religions, the Norsemen considered the mistletoe a baleful plant that caused the death of Baldur, the shining god of youth.
    • n religion Recognition of and allegiance in manner of life to a superhuman power or superhuman powers, to whom allegiance and service are regarded as justly due.
    • n religion The healthful development and right life of the spiritual nature, as contrasted with that of the mere intellectual and social powers.
    • n religion Any system of faith in and worship of a divine Being or beings: as, the Christian religion; the religion of the Jews, Greeks, Hindus, or Mohammedans.
    • n religion The rites or services of religion; the practice of sacred rites and ceremonies.
    • n religion The state of life of a professed member of a regular monastic order: as, to enter religion; her name in religion is Mary Aloysia: now especially in Roman Catholic use.
    • n religion A conscientious scruple; scrupulosity.
    • n religion Sense of obligation; conscientiousness; sense of duty.
    • n religion Synonyms Religion, Devotion, Piety, Sanctity, Saintliness, Godliness, Holiness, Religiosity. In the subjective aspect of these words religion is the most general, as it may be also the most formal or external; in this sense it is the place of the will and character of God in the heart, so that they are the principal object of regard and the controlling influence. Devotion and piety have most of fervor. Devotion is a religion that consecrates itself- being both a close attention to God with complete inward subjection and an equal attention to the duties of religion. Piety is religion under the aspect of filial feeling and conduct, the former being the primary idea. Sanctity is generally used objectively; subjectively it is the same as holiness- Saintliness i s more concrete than sanctity, more distinctly a quality of a person, likeness to a saint, ripeness for heaven. Godliness is higher than saintliness; it is likeness to God, or the endeavor to attain such likeness, fixed attention given immediately to God, especially obedience to his will and endeavor to copy his character. Holiness is the most absolute of these words; it is moral and religious wholeness, completeness, or something approaching so near to absolute freedom from sin as to make the word appropriate; it includes not only being free from sin, but refusing it and hating it for its own sake. Religiosity is not a very common nor a very euphonious word, but seems to meet a felt want by expressing a susceptibility to the sentiments of religion, awe, reverence, admiration for the teachings of religion, etc., without much disposition to obey its commands.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: 'Jedi' is an official religion, with over 70,000 followers, in Australia.
    • n Religion rē-lij′un the recognition of supernatural powers and of the duty lying upon man to yield obedience to these: the performance of our duties of love and obedience towards God: piety: any system of faith and worship: sense of obligation or duty
    • v.i Religion to make profession of religion
    • ***


  • Thomas Paine
    “My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”
  • Abraham Lincoln
    “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. And that's my religion.”
  • Cesare Pavese
    “Love is the cheapest of religions.”
  • Thomas Paine
    “The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.”
  • William Cowper
    “Religion! what treasure untold resides in that heavenly word!”
  • Victor Hugo
    “Toleration is the best religion.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., from L. religio,; cf. religens, pious, revering the gods, Gr. 'ale`gein to heed, have a care. Cf. Neglect


In literature:

Not only the religion of the savage, but every religion is this and not much but this.
"The Religious Sentiment" by Daniel G. Brinton
Science wars against evil practically; religion wars against it theoretically.
"Flowers of Freethought" by George W. Foote
It has everywhere been placed under the sanction of religion, but it arose from secular necessity.
"Flowers of Freethought" by George W. Foote
I think they are making a mistake to sustain any religion which is based upon faith.
"Men, Women, and Gods" by Helen H. Gardener
Religion breathes the air of the supernatural.
"The Ghosts" by Robert G. Ingersoll
According to our religion they are on a footing of perfect equality with men.
"The Buddhist Catechism" by Henry S. Olcott
Superstition is the name given to a low or bad form of religion, to the kind of religion we disapprove.
"Five Stages of Greek Religion" by Gilbert Murray
Its religion is still the living force which unites and levels, exalts and debases.
"Carmen Ariza" by Charles Francis Stocking
His religion will be a social religion rather than a biblical religion.
"The Evolution of the Country Community" by Warren H. Wilson
Florian will say that we are spiting him because of his religion.
"The Landleaguers" by Anthony Trollope

In poetry:

He sang the lay of religion's sway,
Where a hundred creeds clasp hands
And shout in glee such a symphony
That the whole world understands.
"Job Work" by James Whitcomb Riley
Religions changed, and shrines were banished,
Years slipped away, men came and went,
But thou, whatever pleasures vanished,
With what thou hadst wast still content.
"Leo" by John Lawson Stoddard
Within the world of every man's desire
Three things have power to lift his soul above,
Through dreams, religion, and ecstatic fire,
The star-like shapes of Beauty, Truth, and Love.
"Lines" by Madison Julius Cawein
And who would not hail, throughout Erin's dominion,
The time when Religion's bright form should arise,
And sail o'er the land; with her blest, healing pinion,
And bring to all hearts the truth in one guise?
"Ireland" by Thomas Frederick Young
Then let religion, reason, love,
Your holiest, dearest, feelings move.
Your love, your eloquence, your tears,
All that on man's best feelings bears,
Employ, nor let your efforts cease
Till your fair land has rest and peace.
"To The North Americans" by Janet Hamilton
"Lord, guard thy Favours; Lord, extend
Where farther Western Suns descend;
Nor Southern Seas the Blessings bound;
'Till Freedom lift her chearful Head,
'Till pure Religion onward spread,
And beaming, wrap the Globe around."
"To Thee the tuneful Anthem soars" by Mather Byles

In news:

How the religions of the world view cremation .
The Muslim religion makes unusually large claims for itself.
Religion and Variety of Styles Help Set Lawyers Apart in Trade Center Bombing Trial.
My religion defines who I am.
The high court on Tuesday denied the appeal from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Ethics and Religion Talk, by Rabbi David Krishef.
Mark C Taylor, a professor of religion at Williams College, is the editor of 'Deconstruction in Context: Literature and Philosophy' Published: February 01, 1987.
Religion News Service Sunday, January 20, 2008.
Romney opening up — a little — about his religion.
Religion and politics have never been suitable topics for dinner parties– and that didn't change in 2005.
There are lots of ways to talk about the relationship between sports and religion.
How do all these religions fit together.
Religion is a Double Edged Sword.
Though he was campaigning hundreds of miles away, the spectre of presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was still part of the service Sunday at Ebenezer Baptist Church as the preacher switched his topic from religion to politics.
A Meeting of Science and Religion.

In science:

Our point of view is: On the top level, philosophies, sciences, arts and even religions are all correlated, since all of us face to a unique world.
Conjectures on exact solution of three - dimensional (3D) simple orthorhombic Ising lattices
Nelson, Economics as Religion: from Samuelson to Chicago and Beyond (Pennsylvania State University, 2001). F.A.
Fundamental and Real-World Challenges in Economics
God is the whole universe engaged in process towards the emergence of this new quality, and religion is the sentiment in us that we are drawn towards him, and caught in the movement of the world to a higher level of existence.
Definability in the Real Universe
The others were most often misclassified as “Religion” or “Belles Lettres”.
Recognizing Text Genres with Simple Metrics Using Discriminant Analysis
The tone of the argument is overtly prophetic, as if in the name of a strange religion without God.
The Latest on the Sokal Affair: Beyond Three Extremisms