epis·​co·​pal | \ i-ˈpi-skə-pəl, -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)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from episcopal


episcopally \ i-​ˈpi-​skə-​p(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of episcopal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 The buildings — All Saints Episcopal Church at 4550 N. Hermitage Ave. and the Rosenwald Courts apartments at 4648 S. Michigan Ave. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "Restoration of church, apartment complex reveal value of neighborhood architectural gems," 4 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about episcopal

Statistics for episcopal

Last Updated

31 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for episcopal

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for episcopal



English Language Learners Definition of episcopal

: of or relating to a bishop or to bishops as a group

Episcopal : of or relating to either the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S. or the Episcopal Church in Scotland

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on episcopal

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).


means, resources, or money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!