bishop

noun
bish·​op | \ ˈbi-shəp \

Definition of bishop

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : one having spiritual or ecclesiastical supervision: such as
a : an Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, or Roman Catholic clergyman ranking above a priest, having authority to ordain and confirm, and typically governing a diocese
b : any of various Protestant clerical officials who superintend other clergy
c : a Mormon high priest presiding over a ward or over all other bishops and over the Aaronic priesthood
2 : either of two pieces of each color in a set of chessmen having the power to move diagonally across any number of adjoining unoccupied squares
3 : mulled port wine flavored with oranges and cloves

Bishop

biographical name (1)
Bish·​op | \ ˈbi-shəp \

Definition of Bishop (Entry 2 of 3)

Elizabeth 1911–1979 American poet

Bishop

biographical name (2)

Definition of Bishop (Entry 3 of 3)

John Michael 1936–     American microbiologist

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Did You Know?

The Old English word bisceop, from which we get our English word bishop, comes from the Latin word episcopus. Like many other Latin words connected with religion and the church, this was borrowed from Greek, the language in which the New Testament was written. The Greek word episkopos, meaning “overseer,” was first used for officials in government, and later came to be used for church leaders. In the Bible, bishop and priest were used to identify the same thing. It was much later when a bishop became overseer of a large district, or diocese.

Examples of bishop in a Sentence

Noun

the Bishop of New York

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But Pope Benedict XVI sent him to his native Malta in 2012 as bishop after Scicluna’s tough line ruffled too many feathers in the Vatican. Nicole Winfield, The Seattle Times, "Pope gives Vatican’s sex abuse expert new role amid crisis," 13 Nov. 2018 The Pennsylvania attorney general’s report detailed the abuse of more than 1,000 children by Catholic clergymen in the state, including in Pittsburgh, where Cardinal Wuerl served as bishop before coming to Washington in 2006. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, "District of Columbia Opens Probe Into Washington Archdiocese," 23 Oct. 2018 In 2002 the Catholic bishops pledged to be more transparent, and this does not seem in keeping with that promise. Judy L. Thomas, kansascity, "KCK priest is defrocked years after investigation into sexual abuse allegations," 20 June 2018 In January 2015 Pope Francis appointed one of them, Juan Barros, as bishop of Osorno, 570 miles south of the capital, prompting protests by lay and religious groups that continue to this day. Pascale Bonnefoy, New York Times, "Pope Faces Turmoil in Chile Over Indigenous Group and Sex Abuse," 12 Jan. 2018 The report also implicates senior priests and bishops in knowingly reshuffling offenders from parish to parish, allowing them to continue their abuse unchecked. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Scathing report reveals 300 Pennsylvania Catholic priests sexually abused over 1,000 children," 19 Oct. 2018 Vigano went on to accuse more than two dozen current and former Vatican officials, as well as a host of U.S. bishops and papal advisers, of being part of the cover-up and called for Francis to resign over the scandal. Greg Norman, Fox News, "Ex-Vatican ambassador blasts Pope Francis over lack of response to claims of sexual abuse cover-up," 28 Sep. 2018 The injury was not chess related—no bishops were hurled in his direction. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "A Black Eye, a Controversial Leak and Possible Armageddon—the Madness of the World Chess Championship," 27 Nov. 2018 An accentuated waistline and high slit lent a modern flourish to the retro silhouette and offset more traditional details such as the bishop sleeves. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Beyoncé’s Latest Tour Look Delivers Pure ’80s Glamour," 16 Sep. 2018

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bishop

Noun

Middle English bisshop, from Old English bisceop, from Late Latin episcopus, from Greek episkopos, literally, overseer, from epi- + skeptesthai to look — more at spy

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Learn More about bishop

Dictionary Entries near bishop

Bisharin

Bishkek

Bisho

bishop

Bishop

bishop's apron

bishop's-cap

Statistics for bishop

Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bishop

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

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More Definitions for bishop

bishop

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bishop

: an official in some Christian religions who is ranked higher than a priest and who is usually in charge of church matters in a specific geographical area

: a piece in the game of chess that moves across the board at an angle

bishop

noun
bish·​op | \ ˈbi-shəp \

Kids Definition of bishop

1 : a member of the clergy of high rank
2 : a piece in the game of chess

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More from Merriam-Webster on bishop

Spanish Central: Translation of bishop

Nglish: Translation of bishop for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bishop for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bishop

Comments on bishop

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