The noun excommunication is a formal way of describing what happens when someone gets kicked out of his or her church, for good.

  • Pronunciation: /'ɛkskə,mjʊnə'keʃən/
  • English Description: 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
  • Synonyms: excision
  • Chinese Translation: 逐出教会(zhu2 chu1 jiao4 hui4)
  • Spanish Translation: la excomunión
  • ORIGIN: Excommunication is really a kind of banishment, a punishment that's handed out by a church when one of its members breaks some important church rule. The Latin root is excommunicare, meaning "put out of the community," which is just what happens when a person is excommunicated. The term is used most often in churches whose traditions include the concept of communion, as another Latin meaning of excommunication is "to expel from communion."


  • While not a lifelong ban, excommunication is a rare move that amounts to the harshest punishment available for a church member.
  • But they also face threats of shunning at the communion rail, excommunication, and expulsion from religious schools, hospitals, charities, and other institutions in their districts.

*New word description, story and part of "EXAMPLE SENTENCE" are cited in Vocabulary.com