di·​o·​cese | \ ˈdī-ə-səs How to pronounce diocese (audio) , -ˌsēs, -ˌsēz \
plural dioceses\ ˈdī-​ə-​sə-​səz How to pronounce diocese (audio) , -​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 How to pronounce diocese (audio) also  ˈdī-​ə-​ˌsē-​sᵊn \ adjective

Examples of diocese in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ryan was one of seven Catholic priests or brothers from one diocese in Victoria who were moved from parish to parish for decades as complaints came in about their conduct, the commission found. Washington Post, "Indicted ex-priest accused of sexually assaulting Va. teen in 1979," 4 May 2021 The Crookston diocese, in northwestern Minnesota, is home to about 35,000 Catholics. Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune, "Pope asks Minnesota bishop to resign following abuse coverup," 13 Apr. 2021 Like other Catholic churches in this diocese, the Newman Center has begun offering limited outdoor and indoor services. Sandi Dolbee, San Diego Union-Tribune, "One year later, the big question for churches: What’s next?," 4 Apr. 2021 Representatives for the diocese did not immediately reply to the Washington Examiner's request for comment. Jake Dima, Washington Examiner, "Minnesota Catholic diocese paying out nearly $22M to settle 145 abuse claims," 11 Feb. 2021 Spalding dramatized his own escape from Cayuse attacks and claimed Catholic priests at the local diocese had orchestrated the killings. Los Angeles Times, "How a journalist unraveled a gory founding myth of the Pacific Northwest," 22 Apr. 2021 In one Italian diocese, three priests contracted the coronavirus in the days leading up to Easter, forcing another 10 clerics to isolate. Washington Post, "In another locked down, disrupted Easter, a tired Italy can’t escape the virus," 4 Apr. 2021 Milwaukee was named the headquarters of the new Catholic diocese for the Wisconsin Territory. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee's first St. Patrick's Day parade was partly an anti-drinking event. Partly.," 17 Mar. 2021 Archdiocese of Louisville spokeswoman Cecelia Price said Joseph Kurtz, archbishop of the Louisville diocese, had been in contact with staff members in support of virtual classes. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Appeals court allows Beshear to halt in-person classes at Kentucky's religious schools," 29 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for diocese

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for diocese

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Diocese.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diocese. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce diocese (audio) , -ˌsēz \

Kids Definition of diocese

: the area that is under the authority of a bishop

More from Merriam-Webster on diocese

Nglish: Translation of diocese for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about diocese

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