ec·​cle·​si·​as·​ti·​cal | \ i-ˌklē-zē-ˈa-sti-kəl How to pronounce ecclesiastical (audio) , e-ˌklē-\

Definition of ecclesiastical

1 : of or relating to a church especially as an established institution
2 : suitable for use in a church

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Other Words from ecclesiastical

ecclesiastically \ i-​ˌklē-​zē-​ˈa-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce ecclesiastically (audio) , e-​ˌklē-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for ecclesiastical


churchly, ecclesial, ecclesiastic


nonchurch, nonecclesiastical

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Examples of ecclesiastical in a Sentence

ecclesiastical laws that have been in existence for centuries

Recent Examples on the Web

When the last of the Anglican ecclesiastical refugees dies, if no change has been made in the meantime, the Catholic priesthood of the Western or Latin rite will go back to being entirely celibate. Erasmus, The Economist, "Why Pope Francis may open the door to married priests," 18 June 2019 Above all, John provoked the most effective baronial and ecclesiastical revolt of the Middle Ages and endured the humiliation of submitting to its demands. Allan Massie, WSJ, "‘The Restless Kings’ Review: A Family at War With Itself," 11 Jan. 2019 Ninomiya’s all-black ensembles underlined his inventive use of fabric, while Piccioli’s colorful nylon capes suggested ecclesiastical astronauts. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "The Reimagining of a Classic Moncler Jacket," 20 Nov. 2018 Among the high-level ecclesiastical officials implicated in the report is Donald Wuerl, currently the archbishop of Washington, DC. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Scathing report reveals 300 Pennsylvania Catholic priests sexually abused over 1,000 children," 19 Oct. 2018 After shuttering that brand in 2008, Pons took on a range of varied projects, including commissions for ecclesiastical vestments and protective, technical garments for the military. Vogue, "¡Hola, Muchache! Sebastián Pons Launches a New Gender-Fluid, One-Size-Fits-All Line From Majorca," 18 July 2018 Father Theodore McCarrick was a New Jersey priest, whose charisma and intelligence had already set him on a clear course to rise in the Catholic ecclesiastical hierarchy. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "A Catholic cardinal has weathered sex abuse allegations for years. Now they’re finally public," 29 July 2018 The state confiscated most ecclesiastical property. Michael Khodarkovsky, WSJ, "Russia Wages a Religious War Against Ukraine," 30 Sep. 2018 In May 2011, the man filed a complaint with Peru’s ecclesiastical court that was forwarded to the Vatican. Marcelo RochabrÚn And Andrea Zarate, New York Times, "Sex Abuse Case Shadows Pope Francis’ Visit to Peru," 17 Jan. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ecclesiastical

Middle English ecclesiasticall, from Late Latin ecclēsiasticus "of the Christian Church" + Middle English -all -al entry 1 — more at ecclesiastic entry 1

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Statistics for ecclesiastical

Last Updated

1 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for ecclesiastical

The first known use of ecclesiastical was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of ecclesiastical

: of or relating to the Christian church or clergy

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Comments on ecclesiastical

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characterized by aphorism

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