noun \ˈbi-shəp\

: an official in some Christian religions who is ranked higher than a priest and who is usually in charge of church matters in a specific geographical area

: a piece in the game of chess that moves across the board at an angle

Full Definition of BISHOP

:  one having spiritual or ecclesiastical supervision: as
a :  an Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, or Roman Catholic clergyman ranking above a priest, having authority to ordain and confirm, and typically governing a diocese
b :  any of various Protestant clerical officials who superintend other clergy
c :  a Mormon high priest presiding over a ward or over all other bishops and over the Aaronic priesthood
:  either of two pieces of each color in a set of chessmen having the power to move diagonally across any number of adjoining unoccupied squares
:  mulled port wine flavored with oranges and cloves

Examples of BISHOP

  1. the Bishop of New York

Origin of BISHOP

Middle English bisshop, from Old English bisceop, from Late Latin episcopus, from Greek episkopos, literally, overseer, from epi- + skeptesthai to look — more at spy
First Known Use: before 12th century


biographical name \ˈbi-shəp\

Definition of BISHOP

Elizabeth 1911–1979 Am. poet


biographical name

Definition of BISHOP

John Michael 1936– Am. microbiologist


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In some Christian churches, the chief pastor and overseer of a diocese, an area containing several congregations. From the 4th century AD until the Reformation, bishops held broad secular and religious powers, including the settling of disputes, ordination of clergy, and confirmation of church members. Some Christian churches (notably the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox churches) continue the bishop's office and the doctrine of Apostolic succession. Others, including some Lutheran and Methodist churches, retain bishops but not the principle of apostolic succession; still others have abolished the office altogether. Popes, cardinals, archbishops, patriarchs, and metropolitans are gradations of bishops. In Roman Catholicism, the pope selects the bishop; in Anglicanism, the dean and chapter of the cathedral of the diocese elect the bishop; in Methodism a synod chooses the bishop. See also episcopacy.


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