ec·cle·si·a (ĭ-klēzhē-ə, -zē-ə)
n. pl. ec·cle·si·ae (-zhē-ē′, -zē-ē′)
1. The political assembly of citizens of an ancient Greek state.
a. A church or congregation.
b. The collective body of Christian believers regarded as constituting a universal church.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.