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 selection of Bishop McElroy, whose diocese has never been led by a cardinal, sends a message about the pope’s wish for a more liberal orientation for the U.S. episcopate. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, 29 May 2022 At their last meeting, in June, U.S. bishops voted by a large majority to proceed with drafting a statement on the matter, over the objections of Pope Francis’ strongest supporters in the U.S. episcopate. WSJ, 14 Oct. 2021 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, 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, 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, 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.

First Known Use of episcopate

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of episcopate was in 1641

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Dictionary Entries Near episcopate

episcopal vicar



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Last Updated

5 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Episcopate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/episcopate. Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for episcopate

Britannica English: Translation of episcopate for Arabic Speakers


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