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)

Other Words from episcopal


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

Examples of episcopal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Pilla would apologize, but the scandal would be the most painful time of his episcopal ministry. David Briggs, cleveland, 21 Sep. 2021 Haupert-Johnson, episcopal leader of the North Georgia Conference, could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Shelia Poole, ajc, 16 Sep. 2021 The nuncios, who suggest episcopal candidates, were also trained and advanced under John Paul and Benedict, and for the first three years of Francis’ papacy, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, an archenemy, served in that role in the United States. The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 July 2021 Rohrer was elected on the fifth ballot in Saturday’s episcopal election, edging out the Rev. Jeff R. Johnson, pastor of the University of California, Berkeley’s Lutheran chapel, who led the voting until the final ballot. The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 May 2021 Meanwhile, the Catholic Church, stripped of a papal role in episcopal appointments in China and with a diminished and demoralized underground, is left much more poorly positioned to survive the Xi era intact. Nina Shea, National Review, 19 Feb. 2021 The Catholic Church in China ordained its first bishop since Beijing and the Vatican renewed an agreement on episcopal appointments last month. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, 24 Nov. 2020 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, 12 Mar. 2020 An atheistic state now essentially controls all episcopal appointments in China. Daniel J. Mahoney, National Review, 6 Feb. 2020

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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Last Updated

2 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Episcopal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/episcopal. Accessed 28 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for episcopal



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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