Etymology
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church (n.)
Origin and meaning of church

Old English cirice, circe "place of assemblage set aside for Christian worship; the body of Christian believers, Christians collectively; ecclesiastical authority or power," from Proto-Germanic *kirika (source also of Old Saxon kirika, Old Norse kirkja, Old Frisian zerke, Middle Dutch kerke, Dutch kerk, Old High German kirihha, German Kirche).

This is probably [see extensive note in OED] borrowed via an unrecorded Gothic word from Greek kyriake (oikia), kyriakon doma "the Lord's (house)," from kyrios "ruler, lord," from PIE root *keue- "to swell" ("swollen," hence "strong, powerful"). 

Greek kyriakon (adj.) "of the Lord" was used of houses of Christian worship since c. 300, especially in the East, though it was less common in this sense than ekklesia or basilike. An example of the direct Greek-to-Germanic transmission of many Christian words, via the Goths; probably it was used by West Germanic people in their pre-Christian period.

The word also was picked up by the Slavic tongues, probably via Germanic (Old Church Slavonic criky, Russian cerkov). Finnish kirkko, Estonian kirrik are from Scandinavian. Romance and Celtic languages use variants of Latin ecclesia (such as French église, 11c.).

Phonetic spelling from c. 1200, established by 16c. For vowel evolution, see bury. After the Reformation, church was used for any particular Christian denomination agreeing on doctrine and forms of worship.

As an adjective, "pertaining to a church," from 1570s. Church-bell was in late Old English. Church-goer is from 1680s. Church-key "key of a church door" is from early 14c.; slang use for "can or bottle opener" is by 1954, probably originally U.S. college student slang. Church-mouse (1731) "a mouse supposed to live in a church" (where there is nothing for it to eat) is proverbial in many languages for poverty.

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church (v.)

"to bring or lead to church," mid-14c., from church (n.). Related: Churched.

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church-going (adj.)

"habitually attending church," 1540s, from the verbal phrase; go to church for "attend divine service in a religious building" is from late 12c. Late Old English had church-gang for "attendance at church." Related: Church-goer.

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churchman (n.)

"an ecclesiastic, a clergyman," mid-13c., from church (n.) + man (n.). Later "an adherent of the Church of England."

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churchyard (n.)

"ground adjoining a church," especially if used for burial, late Old English, from church (n.) + yard (n.1).

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kirk (n.)

"church,"c. 1200, surviving as a northern England and Scottish dialectal word, from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse kirkja "church" (see church (n.)). Hence kirkland "church land" (mid-15c.).

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unchurched (adj.)

1680s, from un- (1) "not" + churched "committed or belonging to a church" (see church (v.)). A verb, unchurch "to remove or exclude (someone) from membership in a church" is recorded from 1610s.

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Dunkirk 

city on the northeast coast of France, French dunkerque, literally "dune church," from Middle Dutch dune (see dune) + kerke (see church (n.)); in reference to the 7c. church of St. Eloi.

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Kyrie eleison 

early 13c., a Greek liturgical formula adopted untranslated into the Latin mass, literally "lord have mercy" (Psalms cxxii.3, Matthew xv.22, xvii.15, etc.). From kyrie, vocative of kyrios "lord, master" (see church (n.)) + eleeson, aorist imperative of eleo "I have pity on, show mercy to," from eleos "pity, mercy" (see alms). Hence, the corresponding part of a musical setting of the Mass or Anglican Communion.

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Cyrillic 

1842, in reference to the alphabet adopted by Slavic people belonging to the Eastern Church, from St. Cyril, 9c. apostle of the Slavs, who supposedly invented it. The alphabet replaced earlier Glagolitic. The name Cyril is Late Latin Cyrillus, from Greek Kyrillos, literally "lordly, masterful," related to kyrios "lord, master" (see church).

It is believed to have superseded the Glagolitic as being easier both for the copyist to write and for the foreigner to acquire. Some of its signs are modified from the Glagolitic, but those which Greek and Slavic have in common are taken from the Greek. It was brought into general use by St. Cyril's pupil, Clement, first bishop of Bulgaria. The Russian alphabet is a slight modification of it. [Century Dictionary]
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