arch·​bish·​op | \ (ˌ)ärch-ˈbi-shəp How to pronounce archbishop (audio) \

Definition of archbishop

: a bishop at the head of an ecclesiastical province or one of equivalent honorary rank

Examples of archbishop in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In some editions Thursday, a U.S. News article about the naming of a new Washington archbishop incorrectly said Mr. McCarrick was dismissed in January. WSJ, "Corrections & Amplifications," 4 Apr. 2019 The Vatican said Wednesday that Francis considers Romero a model for the Roman Catholic Church and had approved a miracle attributed to the archbishop — a requisite for canonization. Esmeralda Bermudez,, "He championed the poor and was killed by a death squad in El Salvador. Decades later, Archbishop Oscar Romero will be made a saint," 8 Mar. 2018 Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who was appointed archbishop in the French city of Lyon in 2002, faced charges of covering up for an abusive priest and endangering minors. Noemie Bisserbe And Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "French Cardinal Convicted for Covering Up Child Sex Abuse," 7 Mar. 2019 The question is delicate, given that there is evidence that Vatican officials knew as early as 2000 of McCarrick’s activities, yet still appointed him Washington archbishop and a cardinal. Nicole Winfield, The Seattle Times, "Pope: No effort spared to fight abuse, but offers no details," 20 Aug. 2018 In 1996, 30 years after he was first ordained as a priest, Pell was made archbishop of Melbourne by Pope John Paul II. Ben Westcott, CNN, "Cardinal George Pell to face two trials on historical abuse charges," 1 May 2018 Breaking with past practice, Francis decided to act swiftly in the case of the emeritus archbishop of Washington, D.C., even before the accusations can be investigated by church officials. Fox News, "The Latest: Texas prelate praises pope's move on McCarrick," 28 July 2018 But the idea long has been on the archbishop’s agenda. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, "A Lenten promise," 10 Feb. 2018 The Vatican said Saturday that the pope had dismissed from the priesthood Francisco José Cox Huneeus, an 84-year-old retired archbishop of La Serena, and Marco Antonio Órdenes Fernández, 53, a retired bishop of Iquique. Ryan Dube, WSJ, "Pope Defrocks Chilean Bishops Accused of Sex Abuse," 13 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'archbishop.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of archbishop

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for archbishop

Middle English, from Old English arcebiscop, from Late Latin archiepiscopus, from Late Greek archiepiskopos, from archi- + episkopos bishop — more at bishop

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about archbishop

Dictionary Entries near archbishop



arch bar




arch brace

Statistics for archbishop

Last Updated

18 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for archbishop

The first known use of archbishop was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for archbishop



English Language Learners Definition of archbishop

: the bishop of highest rank in a particular area


arch·​bish·​op | \ ˈärch-ˈbi-shəp How to pronounce archbishop (audio) \

Kids Definition of archbishop

: the bishop of highest rank in a group of dioceses

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on archbishop

Spanish Central: Translation of archbishop

Nglish: Translation of archbishop for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of archbishop for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about archbishop

Comments on archbishop

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
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!