Vat·​i·​can | \ ˈva-ti-kən How to pronounce Vatican (audio) \

Definition of Vatican

1 : the papal headquarters in Rome
2 : the papal government

Other Words from Vatican

Vatican adjective

First Known Use of Vatican

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Vatican

borrowed from Latin (mons) Vāticānus, hill on the west bank of the Tiber, the traditional site of the apostle Peter's tomb, on which a basilica was built in the 4th century

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Time Traveler for Vatican

Time Traveler

The first known use of Vatican was in 1555

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Cite this Entry

“Vatican.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on Vatican

Nglish: Translation of Vatican for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of Vatican for Arabic Speakers

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