pa·pa·cy | \ˈpā-pə-sē \
plural papacies

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 on the Web

Next is the Anna Wintour Costume Center where the liturgical pieces encompassing more than 15 papacies from the 18th to the early 21st century are housed unto themselves. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "10 things to see at the Met’s 'Heavenly Bodies' exhibit, and what to know before you go," 9 May 2018 Senior Vatican officials granted Bolton permission to display over 40 Vatican vestments and accessories spanning 15 papacies. Melania Hidalgo, The Cut, "Everything You Need to Know About the 2018 Met Gala," 7 May 2018 Clothing has been such a flash point for debates around Francis’s papacy. Jason Farago, New York Times, "A Trinity of Opinions on the Met’s ‘Heavenly Bodies’," 20 May 2018 And so, five years after Pope Francis ascended to the papacy, what A Man of His Word does is convey the the pontiff’s message directly. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "'Pope Francis' arrives at Cannes Film Festival, reveals anger about sexual abuse crisis," 13 May 2018 With Thursday's ceremony, the College of Cardinals includes 74 named by Francis during his 5-year-old papacy. Frances D'emilio, Fox News, "Pope, making new cardinals, hears Iraqi tell of martyrs," 28 June 2018 The letter was a welcome salve in the battle that has raged throughout Francis’s papacy thus far. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "The Vatican admits to doctoring photo that bolstered Pope Francis’s conservative cred," 19 Mar. 2018 Earlier in his papacy, while fielding questions from the Vatican press corps on a plane, he was asked about the Church’s stance on homosexuality. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Will Pope Francis Cause a Schism in the Catholic Church?," 7 Sep. 2015 Francis, who has used his papacy to champion the causes peace and justice, has often suggested that Christians can work closely together on humanitarian projects. Fox News, "Pope, in Geneva, says Christians can work together on peace," 22 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of papacy

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for papacy

Middle English papacie, from Medieval Latin papatia, from Late Latin papa pope — more at pope

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Phrases Related to papacy

the papacy

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Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

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The first known use of papacy was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of papacy

the papacy : the office or position of the pope

: the time when a particular pope is in power

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