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4 definitions found
 for excommunication
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Excommunication \Ex`com*mu`ni*ca"tion\, n. [L. excommunicatio:
     cf. F. excommunication.]
     The act of communicating or ejecting; esp., an ecclesiastical
     censure whereby the person against whom it is pronounced is,
     for the time, cast out of the communication of the church;
     exclusion from fellowship in things spiritual.
     [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: excommunication is of two kinds, the lesser and the
           greater; the lesser excommunication is a separation or
           suspension from partaking of the Eucharist; the greater
           is an absolute execution of the offender from the
           church and all its rights and advantages, even from
           social intercourse with the faithful.
           [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  excommunication
      n 1: the state of being excommunicated [syn: excommunication,
           exclusion, censure]
      2: 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 [syn: excommunication,
         excision]

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  EXCOMMUNICATION, eccl. law. An ecclesiastical sentence, pronounced by a 
  spiritual judge against a Christian man, by which he is excluded from the 
  body of the church, and disabled to bring any action, or sue any person in 
  the common law courts. Bac. Ab. h.t.; Co. Litt. 133-4. In early times it 
  was the most frequent and most severe method of executing ecclesiastical 
  censure, although proper to be used, said Justinian, (Nov. 123,) only upon 
  grave occasions. The effect of it was to remove the excommunicated "person 
  not only from the sacred rites but from the society of men. In a certain 
  sense it interdicted the use of fire and water, like the punishment spoken 
  of by Caesar, (lib, 6 de Bell. Gall.). as inflicted by the Druids. Innocent 
  IV. called it the nerve of ecclesiastical discipline. On repentance, the 
  excommunicated person was absolved and received again to communion. These 
  are said to be the powers of binding and loosing the keys of the kingdom of 
  heaven. This kind of punishment seems to have been adopted from the Roman 
  usage of interdicting the use of fire and water. Fr. Duaren, De Sacris 
  Eccles. Ministeriis, lib. 1, cap. 3. See Ridley's View of the Civil. and 
  Ecclesiastical Law, 245, 246, 249. 
  
  

From The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906) :

  EXCOMMUNICATION, n.
  
      This "excommunication" is a word
      In speech ecclesiastical oft heard,
      And means the damning, with bell, book and candle,
      Some sinner whose opinions are a scandal --
      A rite permitting Satan to enslave him
      Forever, and forbidding Christ to save him.
                                                              Gat Huckle
  

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