Definition of papacy
1 : the office of pope
2 : a succession or line of popes
3 : the term of a pope's reign
4 capitalized : the system of government of the Roman Catholic Church of which the pope is the supreme head
Examples of papacy in a Sentence
He was selected by the cardinals for the papacy.
Recent Examples of papacy from the Web
There’s no central governing structure similar to the papacy in the Roman Catholic Church.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'papacy'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of papacy
Middle English papacie, from Medieval Latin papatia, from Late Latin papa pope — more at pope
First Known Use: 14th century
PAPACY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of papacy for English Language Learners
the papacy : the office or position of the pope
: the time when a particular pope is in power
Learn More about papacy
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about papacy
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up papacy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).