au·​to·​ceph·​a·​lous | \ ˌȯ-tō-ˈse-f(ə-)ləs How to pronounce autocephalous (audio) \

Definition of autocephalous

: independent of external and especially patriarchal authority used especially of Eastern national churches

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Other Words from autocephalous

autocephaly \ ˌȯ-​tō-​ˈse-​fə-​lē How to pronounce autocephaly (audio) \ noun

Examples of autocephalous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The idea of an autocephalous, or independent, Ukrainian church has long been a dream of Ukrainian nationalists. Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor, "Tangle of church and state roils Ukraine’s Orthodox parishes," 17 Apr. 2019 The decision marked a step toward establishing an ecclesiastically independent – or autocephalous – church in Ukraine. Vladimir Isachenkov, The Seattle Times, "Russian Orthodox Church breaks ties with Orthodoxy’s leader," 15 Oct. 2018 The move comes as Ukraine strives to create an autocephalous church, independent of Moscow, in an attempt to cut ties with Russia as much as possible. Thomas Grove, WSJ, "Ukraine Threatens to Escalate Russia Standoff After Ship Detentions," 30 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'autocephalous.' 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 autocephalous

circa 1754, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for autocephalous

Late Greek autokephalos, from Greek aut- + kephalē head — more at cephalic

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Time Traveler for autocephalous

Time Traveler

The first known use of autocephalous was circa 1754

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Cite this Entry

“Autocephalous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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