Fe·​bro·​ni·​an·​ism | \ -ēəˌnizem \
plural -s

Definition of Febronianism

: the principle applied in 1763 to the Roman Catholic Church by Johann N. von Hontheim, suffragan bishop of Treves, that final ecclesiastical authority belongs to the whole church and not merely to the papacy, that papal power is inferior to that of the whole body of the episcopate, and that papal power is limited in matters of doctrine by general church councils and in matters of discipline by national churches

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Learn More about Febronianism

Statistics for Febronianism

Cite this Entry

“Febronianism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Febronianism. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

Comments on Febronianism

What made you want to look up Febronianism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!