di·​o·​cese | \ ˈdī-ə-səs , -ˌsēs, -ˌsēz\
plural dioceses\ ˈdī-​ə-​sə-​səz , -​ˌsē-​zəz , nonstandard  ˈdī-​ə-​ˌsēz \

Definition of diocese

: the territorial jurisdiction of a bishop

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Other Words from diocese

diocesan \ dī-​ˈä-​sə-​sən also  ˈdī-​ə-​ˌsē-​sᵊn \ adjective

Examples of diocese in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This latest report covers six of Pennsylvania’s eight dioceses, including Harrisburg, Greensburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, and Scranton. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Scathing report reveals 300 Pennsylvania Catholic priests sexually abused over 1,000 children," 19 Oct. 2018 The grand jury report released Tuesday says that number comes from records in six Roman Catholic dioceses. Fox News, "The Latest: Report IDs over 1,000 victims of priest abuse," 2 Oct. 2018 In August, a grand jury report in Pennsylvania detailed decades of abuse and cover-up in six dioceses, alleging that more than 1,000 children had been abused over the years by about 300 priests. David Crary, The Seattle Times, "Poll: US Catholics fault pope’s handling of sex abuse crisis," 2 Oct. 2018 The Vatican under the past two popes in many ways kept the Way at arm’s length because of its unusual liturgical practices, which include celebrating Mass on Saturday nights, and its occasionally divisive presence in dioceses. Washington Post, "Pope urges Neocatechumenal missionaries to respect cultures," 6 May 2018 Participation by the bishops in investigations would be voluntary, and the commission could only access evidence held by a bishop or his diocese if the bishop consents to it, Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit told the conference. Marisa Iati, The Seattle Times, "Bishops are conflicted about how they need to change to reduce sexual abuse," 13 Nov. 2018 The Vatican announced that Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield, and had named a temporary administrator for his Wheeling-Charleston diocese. Fox News, "The Latest: US bishops to work with Vatican on abuse," 13 Sep. 2018 The French priest who became a viral villain after video emerged of him slapping a crying baby during a baptism has been suspended by his Roman Catholic diocese. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Priest who slapped baby at baptism is suspended. Says he was trying to 'calm' child," 26 June 2018 Since this report, the attorneys general of twelve more states and the District of Columbia have begun collecting records from local dioceses. Mary Beth Keane, Vogue, "Amid Scandal After Scandal, One Catholic Mother Faces A Painful Choice," 6 Dec. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for diocese

Middle English diocise, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin diocesis, alteration of dioecesis, from Latin, administrative division, from Greek dioikēsis administration, administrative division, from dioikein to keep house, govern, from dia- + oikein to dwell, manage, from oikos house — more at vicinity

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Last Updated

19 Feb 2019

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The first known use of diocese was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for diocese



English Language Learners Definition of diocese

: the area that is controlled by a bishop in a Christian church


di·​o·​cese | \ ˈdī-ə-səs , -ˌsēz\

Kids Definition of diocese

: the area that is under the authority of a bishop

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More from Merriam-Webster on diocese

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with diocese

Spanish Central: Translation of diocese

Nglish: Translation of diocese for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about diocese

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