encyclical

adjective
en·​cyc·​li·​cal | \ in-ˈsi-kli-kəl How to pronounce encyclical (audio) , en- \

Definition of encyclical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: addressed to all the individuals of a group : general

encyclical

noun

Definition of encyclical (Entry 2 of 2)

: an encyclical letter specifically : a papal letter to the bishops of the church as a whole or to those in one country

Examples of encyclical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Baathist government carried out the very acts of terror and chemical weapons that Pope Francis condemned in last year’s encyclical letter, Fratelli Tutti — and that the United Nations, which Francis praises, was designed to prevent. Andrew Doran, National Review, "The Future of Christians in the Middle East," 25 Apr. 2021 The pope, when elected in 2013, chose St. Francis of Assisi as his namesake saint, and earlier this month, the pontiff journeyed to that hill town in Umbria to sign an encyclical, or important church teaching document, about brotherhood. chicagotribune.com, "Pope Francis names 13 new cardinals, including Archbishop Wilton Gregory, the first US Black prelate chosen for the honor," 25 Oct. 2020 Such a change in policy would normally come in the form of a papal document, such as an encyclical, not blurted out in a film. Flavia Rotondi, Bloomberg.com, "Vatican Is Silent After Pope’s Same-Sex Union Bombshell," 22 Oct. 2020 Tornielli, the Vatican editorial chief, said the themes of the encyclical, fraternity and social friendship, are precisely the themes that unite men and women. Nicole Winfield, Star Tribune, "What's in a name? At the Vatican, a debate on inclusiveness," 16 Sep. 2020 Little is known about the latest encyclical at the moment, but some of Francis' most recent speeches and comments seem to hint at its content and scope. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Pope Francis launches his post-COVID agenda with announcement of new encyclical," 8 Sep. 2020 Sister Teresa Maya, the group’s leader, said the nuns were influenced by Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment five years ago. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Ayala: San Antonio’s little-known ‘spiritual forest’ will be preserved in perpetuity," 4 Aug. 2020 The day the agreement was signed, a letter arrived at the motherhouse in San Antonio from Rome celebrating Laudato Si, the papal encyclical on the environment. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Ayala: San Antonio’s little-known ‘spiritual forest’ will be preserved in perpetuity," 4 Aug. 2020 Francis has been a vocal believer in the dangers of climate change and became the first pope in history to use an encyclical letter solely to address the issue, writing in 2015 that humans are exploiting nature. Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, "Pope Francis: Coronavirus could be 'nature's response' to inaction on climate change," 9 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Pope Francis, who had excoriated trickle-down economics and dedicated an encyclical to the moral necessity of combating climate change. Matthew Sitman, The New Republic, "Whither the Religious Left?," 15 Apr. 2021 In a 70-page encyclical, the highest form of papal teaching, Pope Francis outlined his vision for a post-pandemic world. Alexis Benveniste, CNN, "Pope Francis says capitalism has failed in the pandemic," 4 Oct. 2020 In a 70-page encyclical, the highest form of papal teaching, Pope Francis outlined his vision for a post-pandemic world. Alexis Benveniste, CNN, "Pope Francis says capitalism has failed in the pandemic," 4 Oct. 2020 In the lead-up to Francis’s previous encyclical, in 2015, the church held a splashy multimedia rollout in a Vatican hall for journalists and other church officials. Washington Post, "Pope Francis’s new encyclical is a papal warning about a world going backward," 4 Oct. 2020 Throughout Let Us Dream, Francis references Laudato si', a controversial encyclical that President-elect Joe Biden said will guide his climate change policy. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Pope Francis: Pandemic showed that abortion and climate are part of same problem," 23 Nov. 2020 Francis signed the encyclical, the third of his pontificate, on Saturday (Oct. 3) in Assisi, Italy, the birthplace of his namesake, St. Francis. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Pope Francis’ new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, enshrines familiar criticisms of racism and borders," 5 Oct. 2020 Senator Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania and a Catholic, said his thinking had been shaped in part by Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, which calls for transformational change to stop climate change and environmental degradation. Coral Davenport, New York Times, "Biden Pledges Ambitious Climate Action. Here’s What He Could Actually Do.," 25 Oct. 2020 Such a change in policy would come in the form of a papal document known as an encyclical. John Follain, Bloomberg.com, "Pope Backs Civil Unions, Says LGBTQ Have ‘Right to a Family’," 21 Oct. 2020

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

Adjective

1647, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1837, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for encyclical

Adjective

Late Latin encyclicus, from Greek enkyklios circular, general, from en in + kyklos circle — more at in, wheel

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about encyclical

Time Traveler for encyclical

Time Traveler

The first known use of encyclical was in 1647

See more words from the same year

Statistics for encyclical

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Encyclical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encyclical. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for encyclical

encyclical

noun

English Language Learners Definition of encyclical

: an official letter from the Pope to the Roman Catholic bishops

More from Merriam-Webster on encyclical

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for encyclical

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about encyclical

Comments on encyclical

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

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!