epis·​co·​pate i-ˈpi-skə-pət How to pronounce episcopate (audio)
: the rank or office of or term of as a bishop
: the body of bishops (as in a country)

Examples of episcopate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Amicable relations had long existed between the Catholic Church in Rome and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, but the Roman episcopate embraced Mussolini’s regime and its aggressive foreign policy in the mid-1930s. Ian Campbell, Foreign Affairs, 22 Feb. 2022 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'episcopate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of episcopate was in 1641

Dictionary Entries Near episcopate

Cite this Entry

“Episcopate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/episcopate. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


epis·​co·​pate i-ˈpis-kə-pət How to pronounce episcopate (audio)
: the rank or office of or term of office of as a bishop
: the whole body of bishops

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