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Worship usually refers to specific acts of religious praise, honour, or devotion, typically directed to a supernatural being such as a god or goddess. 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, in informally organized groups, or as part of an organized service with a designated leader (as in a church, synagogue, temple, or mosque). 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).


Wor"ship (?), n. [OE. worshipe, wur&edh;scipe, AS. weor&edh;scipe; weor&edh; worth + -scipe -ship. See Worth, a., and -ship.]

Excellence of character; dignity; worth; worthiness.

A man of worship and honour. Chaucer.
2. Honor; respect; civil deference.

Of which great worth and worship may be won. Spenser.
3. Hence, a title of honor, used in addresses to certain magistrates and others of rank or station.

My father desires your worships' company. Shak.
4. 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.

The worship of God is an eminent part of religion, and prayer is a chief part of religious worship. Tillotson.
5. Obsequious or submissive respect; extravagant admiration; adoration.

'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.
6. An object of worship.

In attitude and aspect formed to be At once the artist's worship and despair. Longfellow.


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