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 papal (audio) \ adverb

Examples of papal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Public-health officials in Iraq denied there had been much risky behavior at the papal events. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, 8 Mar. 2021 Written descriptions of the fragmented monument first appear in the mid-12th century, when the pieces were still housed in the papal collections, according to the museum statement. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Apr. 2021 Boehner retired after fulfilling his longtime goal of having a papal visit to the U.S. Capitol. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, 14 Apr. 2021 The darkness, scholars determined, was the result of the accretion of dust and dirt, fungi, varnishes and wine used in primitive restorations, and soot from candles lit during papal conclaves and other religious observances. Emily Langer, Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2021 The major parties could go with a papal-like process — is that a white puff of smoke over Hy-Vee Hall in downtown Des Moines? Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 23 Mar. 2021 Marco Politi, a papal biographer, said Francis has been trying to reach out to authorities in other religions, as a way to reduce sectarianism. Washington Post, 5 Mar. 2021 More than 100 people who are homeless were given their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Vatican, the papal city-state announced Wednesday. Phoebe Natanson, ABC News, 31 Mar. 2021 Rome is grand on the grandest scale, with the swagger of an imperial capital and the papal seat, and sometimes just of its own bloated sense of self. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, 22 Mar. 2021

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

30 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Papal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for papal



English Language Learners Definition of papal

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

More from Merriam-Webster on papal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for papal

Nglish: Translation of papal for Spanish Speakers


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