pa·​pal | \ ˈpā-pəl How to pronounce papal (audio) \

Definition of papal

: of or relating to a pope or to the Roman Catholic Church also : resembling a pope or that of a pope

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Other Words from papal

papally \ ˈpā-​pə-​lē How to pronounce papally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of papal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tuesday is the 41st anniversary of his first papal visit to Poland. Anchorage Daily News, "Catholic Archbishop of Washington slams Trump’s visit to John Paul II shrine," 2 June 2020 The survival of the Misteri d’Elx, more or less intact, is something of a miracle (more prosaically, its continuance required a papal dispensation, granted in the seventeenth century by Pope Urban VIII). Stephen Greenblatt, The New York Review of Books, "Witness to a Mystery," 27 May 2020 Easter Sunday is April 12, and tens of thousands of people would normally fill St. Peter’s Square for an outdoor papal mass. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: March 14-15," 24 Apr. 2020 In the 19th century, the Vatican seized a six-year-old living in the papal states in order to provide the child with a Catholic upbringing. John Hirschauer, National Review, "A Harvard Law Professor’s Assault on Homeschooling — and Parenthood," 22 Apr. 2020 Sunday's papal Mass used to draw thousands of pilgrims from around the world to the sprawling square at the Vatican. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "What do Christians celebrate on Palm Sunday?," 5 Apr. 2020 The enormous bell, which was cast in 1681, is traditionally only rung during major religious ceremonies, papal visits, or during the funerals of French presidents. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Bell at Notre Dame in Paris tolls on the one-year anniversary of historic fire," 15 Apr. 2020 Villa Parisi is one of 12 villas that was built in the area in the late 16th and early 17th centuries for families linked to the papal court. Olivia Harrison,, "Inside The 17th Century Castle Where Netflix’s Love Wedding Repeat Was Filmed," 11 Apr. 2020 Though James was not Catholic, her work is steeped in the anxieties of Catholicism that were addressed, but not resolved, in the 1968 papal encyclical Humanae Vitae. Jack Butler, National Review, "The End Is Near? Three Apocalyptic Novels," 14 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'papal.' 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 papal

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for papal

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin papalis, from Late Latin papa

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Time Traveler for papal

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for papal

Last Updated

22 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Papal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for papal


How to pronounce papal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of papal

: of or relating to the pope or the government of the Roman Catholic Church

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More from Merriam-Webster on papal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for papal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with papal

Spanish Central: Translation of papal

Nglish: Translation of papal for Spanish Speakers

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