papacy

noun

pa·​pa·​cy ˈpā-pə-sē How to pronounce papacy (audio)
plural papacies
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

Example Sentences

He was selected by the cardinals for the papacy.
Recent Examples on the Web The requiem Mass, conducted as a heavy fog lifted, used a mix of ancient rituals and new precedents to pay tribute to a figure who transformed the papacy with his decision 10 years ago to abdicate. Arkansas Online, 6 Jan. 2023 The requiem Mass, conducted as a heavy fog lifted, used a mix of ancient rituals and new precedents to pay tribute to a figure who transformed the papacy with his decision 10 years ago to abdicate. Stefano Pitrelli, Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2023 Nearly half of the defrockings occurred during the final two years of Benedict’s papacy. Nicole Winfield, ajc, 1 Jan. 2023 How did his papacy affect the Christian – especially the Roman Catholic – world? Jay Parini, CNN, 31 Dec. 2022 Following John Paul’ II’s death, Benedict was elected as the next pope and assumed the papacy on April 19, 2005. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 31 Dec. 2022 But the writings of the man born Joseph Ratzinger are the most significant legacy of his life and papacy. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 31 Dec. 2022 His papacy did not fit into any simple boxes, however. Rachel Donadio, New York Times, 31 Dec. 2022 Although his papacy was relatively brief, Pope Benedict XVI made 24 foreign trips visiting every habitable continent. Phoebe Natanson, ABC News, 31 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near papacy

Cite this Entry

“Papacy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/papacy. Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

papacy

noun
pa·​pa·​cy ˈpā-pə-sē How to pronounce papacy (audio)
plural papacies
1
: the office of pope
2
: the term of a pope's reign
3
capitalized : the government of the Roman Catholic Church of which the pope is the head

More from Merriam-Webster on papacy

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