epis·​co·​pal | \ i-ˈpi-skə-pəl How to pronounce episcopal (audio) , -bəl\

Definition of episcopal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to a bishop
2 : of, having, or constituting government by bishops
3 capitalized : of or relating to the Protestant Episcopal Church representing the Anglican communion in the U.S.



Definition of Episcopal (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from episcopal


episcopally \ i-​ˈpi-​skə-​p(ə-​)lē How to pronounce episcopally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of episcopal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Mark Bartosic, Robert Casey and Ronald Hicks as bishops-elect until their episcopal ordination at Holy Name Cathedral, the seat of the Catholic Church in Cook and Lake counties, on Sept. 17, according to the Archdiocese of Chicago. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas, chicagotribune.com, "Pope Francis taps 3 new auxiliary bishops for Chicago Catholic archdiocese," 3 July 2018 What the report shows is a pattern of episcopal behavior akin to a scaffold of their own making. C.c. Pecknold, WSJ, "The Catholic Bishops Who Failed Us All," 16 Aug. 2018 After graduating from an episcopal high school in Asheville, N.C., Gen. Saint graduated from West Point in 1958. Ellie Silverman, Washington Post, "Crosbie Saint, four-star Army general, dies at 81," 15 May 2018 The presiding bishop, Gregory V. Palmer, is required by church proceedings to set an episcopal trial date and select a jury. Mark Curnutte, Cincinnati.com, "Gay Methodist minister David Meredith, church claim victory," 18 Oct. 2017 Amid the wartime housing shortage, the couple, together with their four children, were immediately invited to move into the small upper floor of the episcopal palace in Salamanca where the Francos lived. Jesús Palacios, Slate Magazine, "How Franco tailored fascism to his country by stealing from every major political movement.," 9 Feb. 2017 As a committed Christian, Irene was a member of the congregation of All Saints Episcopal Church in Winter Park, and was an enthusiastic participant in the church Altar Guild. Orlando Sentinel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Deaths in Central Florida: 8/30," 30 Aug. 2017 The Rev. Andrew J. Sherman of St. Gregory's Episcopal Church told council members during the packed hearing. Aric Chokey, Sun-Sentinel.com, "After satanic controversy, Boca rejects ban on all displays," 22 Aug. 2017 The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles plans to proceed with the sale of the St. James the Great church property in Newport Beach, citing a legal obligation created by the diocese’s bishop. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "L.A. Episcopal diocese is going ahead with sale of Newport’s St. James church site," 14 Aug. 2017

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1752, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for episcopal


Middle English, from Late Latin episcopalis, from episcopus bishop — more at bishop

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

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English Language Learners Definition of episcopal

: of or relating to a bishop or to bishops as a group
: of or relating to either the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S. or the Episcopal Church in Scotland

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with episcopal

Spanish Central: Translation of episcopal

Nglish: Translation of episcopal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of episcopal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on episcopal

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


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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