epis·​co·​pate | \ i-ˈpi-skə-pət How to pronounce episcopate (audio) , -ˌpāt \

Definition of episcopate

1 : the rank or office of or term of as a bishop
2 : diocese
3 : the body of bishops (as in a country)

Examples of episcopate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The letter, dated Jan. 1, is Pope Francis’ most explicit acknowledgment yet of the tensions between him and the U.S. episcopate. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Pope Warns U.S. Bishops Against Disunity Over Sex Abuse," 3 Jan. 2019 Healing will not begin until the episcopate reveals to the world what true repentance looks like, and makes that repentance visible through a change in behavior. C.c. Pecknold, WSJ, "The Catholic Bishops Who Failed Us All," 16 Aug. 2018 The delay shows that the Vatican simply doesn’t place the same value on speed and openness with the public that the U.S. episcopate does. Mene Ukueberuwa, WSJ, "The Catholic Bishops Who Couldn’t," 15 Nov. 2018

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

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about episcopate

Time Traveler for episcopate

Time Traveler

The first known use of episcopate was in 1641

See more words from the same year

Statistics for episcopate

Cite this Entry

“Episcopate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/episcopate. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on episcopate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for episcopate

Britannica English: Translation of episcopate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on episcopate

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


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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