mon·​si·​gnor män-ˈsē-nyər How to pronounce monsignor (audio)
plural monsignors or monsignori ˌmän-ˌsēn-ˈyȯr-ē How to pronounce monsignor (audio)
: a Roman Catholic prelate having a dignity or titular distinction (as of domestic prelate or protonotary apostolic) usually conferred by the pope
used as a title prefixed to the surname or to the given name and surname
monsignorial adjective

Examples of monsignor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There was no tolling of the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica, no solemn announcement by a Vatican monsignor to the faithful in the square. Nicole Winfield, Chicago Tribune, 1 Jan. 2023 Diddi also heard from Perlasca on March 1, 2022, when the monsignor filed a formal complaint alleging Chaouqui had threatened him and claimed to be working with prosecutors. Nicole Winfield, ajc, 5 Dec. 2022 The couple wrote their own vows, which were officiated by a Catholic monsignor and a Presbyterian minister. Jada Yuan, Washington Post, 20 Nov. 2022 He was soon named a monsignor, an honor given by Pope John Paul II. Jacques Kelly, Baltimore Sun, 5 Oct. 2022 After the monsignor relayed this story to the sniper task force, authorities phoned police in Alabama and learned that fingerprints from the store hadn’t yet been sent to the FBI for identification. Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post, 1 Oct. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'monsignor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Italian monsignore, from French monseigneur

First Known Use

1599, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of monsignor was in 1599

Dictionary Entries Near monsignor

Cite this Entry

“Monsignor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


mon·​si·​gnor män-ˈsē-nyər How to pronounce monsignor (audio)
plural monsignors or monsignori ˌmän-ˈsēn-ˈyōr-ē How to pronounce monsignor (audio)
used as a title for Roman Catholic priests

More from Merriam-Webster on monsignor

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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