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

Here is papal regalia of unsurpassed intricacy, but also space-age brides, monastic couture, angels in gold lamé, and a choir up in the balcony dressed in head-to-toe Balenciaga. Jason Farago, New York Times, "‘Heavenly Bodies’ Brings the Fabric of Faith to the Met," 9 May 2018 In 1881, as the burial procession of Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) neared the Tiber River in Rome, anticlerical protesters breached the escort and attempted to throw the papal bier into the murky water. Thomas Albert Howard, WSJ, "‘The Pope Who Would Be King’ and ‘Vatican I’ Review: Rome Infallible," 5 Feb. 2019 The papal trip to the UAE, which began Sunday evening and ended after Tuesday’s Mass, was infused with symbolism, state pageantry and calls for peace. Aya Batrawy, The Seattle Times, "Pope caps visit to Arabian Peninsula with historic Mass," 5 Feb. 2019 There was his first international papal trip, to Brazil, which made clear that the future of Catholicism lay in the global South. Jason Horowitz, Vogue, "How Pope Francis Is Changing the Catholic Church," 16 July 2018 In 1302, Boniface issued a papal bull -- the church's term for an official proclamation -- which placed Europe's kings and their armies under his supreme command. Drew Kann, CNN, "Eight of the worst popes in church history," 10 Apr. 2018 After relations with Italy normalized in 1929, the astronomers fled Rome’s light pollution by moving 15 miles southeast to the papal summer home here in the Alban Hills. Kyle Peterson, WSJ, "An Astronomer’s View of the Christmas Sky," 21 Dec. 2018 The agreement calls for the Vatican to recognize seven bishops who had been appointed by Beijing without papal consent while also arranging for two legitimate bishops who remain loyal to Rome to step aside. Christopher Bodeen, Fox News, "Vatican agreement with China draws concerns amid crackdown," 28 Sep. 2018 As a senior at Tufts University, hardly a bastion of Christian belief, sheer curiosity brought me to the controversial papal encyclical. Ashley Mcguire, WSJ, "The Controversial Text That Saved Me," 26 July 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near papal





papal cross

papal decree


Statistics for papal

Last Updated

8 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for papal

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with papal

Spanish Central: Translation of papal

Nglish: Translation of papal for Spanish Speakers

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something valued as if it were money

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