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 But other private schools, including Saint Mary’s Hall, and St. Luke’s and St. George episcopal schools, said spring break would be extended by a week and classes would be conducted online until at least April 3. Krista Torralva, ExpressNews.com, "Bexar County school districts to resume classes Monday — for now," 12 Mar. 2020 An atheistic state now essentially controls all episcopal appointments in China. Daniel J. Mahoney, National Review, "Pope Francis, Wayward Shepherd," 6 Feb. 2020 The sanctuary will host 11 weekend Masses in four languages starting Saturday, according to Father Christopher Smith, rector and episcopal vicar of Christ Cathedral. Daily Pilot, "Crystal Cathedral is reborn as Christ Cathedral, the center of O.C. Catholicism," 17 July 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for episcopal

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

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Cite this Entry

“Episcopal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/episcopal. Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for episcopal


How to pronounce Episcopal (audio)

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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