bishop

noun
bish·​op | \ ˈbi-shəp How to pronounce bishop (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Bishop (audio) \

Definition of Bishop (Entry 2 of 3)

Elizabeth 1911–1979 American poet

Bishop

biographical name (2)

Definition of Bishop (Entry 3 of 3)

J(ohn) Michael 1936–     American microbiologist

Keep scrolling for more

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

In what was to become Zimbabwe, for example, bishops supported resistance against white-led Rhodesia from the 1960s to 1980 but unwittingly brought dictator Robert Mugabe, who died recently, to power. Joseph Hellweg, Quartz Africa, "Africa’s Catholic Church faces competition and a troubled legacy even as it grows," 12 Sep. 2019 And McCarrick is not the only abuser whose actions were covered up by bishops. Marc A. Thiessen, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Defrocked, McCarrick still won’t confess," 6 Sep. 2019 Combs, 61, a Republican, was in 2010 elevated to bishop with the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., according to his bio on the commission website. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Whitmer wants civil rights director ousted: These 8 people could decide his fate," 15 Aug. 2019 Court records show that the allegations were brought before two church bishops, but were never reported to law enforcement authorities. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "Boy Scouts lawsuit: Parents trust teachers and counselors. But should they?," 8 Aug. 2019 Progressive pastors and bishops in the U.S. have regularly denounced Trump, including on Twitter. ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio archbishop’s tweets about president, then deletes them," 6 Aug. 2019 In the meantime, bishop Patrick Chauvet, Notre-Dame’s rector, expressed a wish to erect a temporary structure for parishioners and to welcome the 13 million visitors who trek to see the historic medieval structure each year. Anne Quito, Quartz, "A design proposal for Notre-Dame reveals the changing function of churches," 3 Aug. 2019 The canon does allow bishops to permit supplementary preaching by the laity when necessary or particularly advantageous. Declan Leary, National Review, "What America Magazine Gets Wrong about the Mass," 24 July 2019 Before becoming auxiliary bishop for Baltimore, Brennan spent decades ministering to immigrants, including 19 years celebrating Mass and administering the sacraments in English and Spanish at parishes in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. Jonathan Pitts, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore auxiliary bishop to bring pastoral ways to a West Virginia diocese troubled by scandal," 23 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bishop

Dictionary Entries near bishop

Bisharin

Bishkek

Bisho

bishop

Bishop

bishop's apron

bishop's-cap

Statistics for bishop

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bishop

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce bishop (audio) \

Kids Definition of bishop

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

WORD OF THE DAY

authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!