Borrowing from Anglo-Norman religiun, from Old French religion, from Latin religiō (“scrupulousness”, “pious misgivings”, “superstition”, “conscientiousness”, “sanctity”, “an object of veneration”, “cult-observance”, “reverence”). Most likely from the Indo-European root h₂leg with the meanings preserved in Latin "dīligěre" and "lěgěre", i.e. to read repeatedly or to have something solely in mind.
- (uncountable) The belief in and worship of a supernatural controlling power, especially a personal god or gods.
- My brother tends to value religion, but my sister not as much.
- (countable) A particular system of faith and worship.
- Islam is a major religion in parts of Asia and Africa.
- Eckankar is a new religion but Zoroastrianism is an old religion.
- (uncountable) The way of life committed to by monks and nuns.
- The monk entered religion when he was 20 years of age.
- (countable) Any practice to which someone or some group is seriously devoted.
- At this point, Star Trek has really become a religion.
- (uncountable, obsolete) Faithfulness to a given principle; conscientiousness. [16th-17th c.]
The meaning "not (Judeo-)Christian" arose in Vulgar Latin, probably from the 4th century. It is unclear whether this usage is derived primarily from the "rustic" or from the "civilian" meaning, which in Roman army jargon meant 'clumsy'. As a self-designation of neopagans attested since 1990.