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 Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, the archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar, and the president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, has also raised the issue of the treatment of Uighurs, reprimanding the international community for inaction. Gaia Pianigiani, New York Times, "Pope Calls Uighurs ‘Persecuted,’ Prompting Pushback From China," 24 Nov. 2020 Once victims came forward, Pope Francis quickly instructed Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, to investigate. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Commentary: Worse than bungling, McCarrick report shows Vatican failed to take abuse seriously," 11 Nov. 2020 John Chrysostom, the archbishop of Constantinople, the new capital of the Roman Empire, opened several hospitals in that city. Michael Luo, The New Yorker, "An Advent Lament in the Pandemic," 20 Dec. 2020 Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., officially became the first Black American to earn the rank of cardinal Saturday. Tim O'donnell, TheWeek, "10 things you need to know today: November 29, 2020," 29 Nov. 2020 The latest issue of the embassy’s regular newsletter gave front-page attention to the installation of a new archbishop in Taiwan. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "Pope Francis being watched by 'everybody' to see if Vatican forms ties with China over Taiwan: US diplomat," 6 Oct. 2020 Among those raised to cardinal’s rank on Saturday by Francis was the current archbishop of Washington, Wilton Gregory, the first African-American cardinal. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Pope Francis, with new cardinals, warns Catholic Church against mediocrity," 30 Nov. 2020 Dolan, who is the archbishop of New York City, was regarded as one of McCarrick's conservative critics when the former cardinal was in power. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "'Black eye': Long-awaited Vatican sexual abuse investigation into Theodore McCarrick to be released next week," 6 Nov. 2020 According to the report on former Cardinal McCarrick, St. John Paul II appointed the cleric as archbishop of Washington, D.C., in 2000 despite warnings that he had been accused of pedophilia and of sharing his bed with adult seminarians. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Pope Francis Warns Against Division in Response to Vatican Scandals," 21 Dec. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for archbishop

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

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Last Updated

17 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Archbishop.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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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

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