Middle English, from Old English arcebiscop, from Late Latin archiepiscopus, from Late Greek archiepiskopos, from archi- + episkopos bishop — more at bishop
First Known Use: before 12th century
In Christianity, a bishop who has jurisdiction, but not superiority, over the other bishops in a province as well as episcopal authority in his own diocese. Introduced as an honorary title in the Eastern churches in the 4th century, the office did not become common in Western churches until the 9th century. It is now most widely used in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. It is more rarely used in Protestant denominations, though the Church of England has archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Lutheran churches of both Sweden and Finland have an archbishop.