- 1: an ecclesiastical censure depriving a person of the rights of church membership
- 2: exclusion from fellowship in a group or community
Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community. The word means putting someone out of communion. In some religions, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the member or group. Censures and sanctions sometimes follow excommunication; these include banishment, shunning, and shaming, depending on the religion, the offense that caused excommunication, or the rules or norms of the religious community.