pon·​ti·​fex ˈpän-tə-ˌfeks How to pronounce pontifex (audio)
plural pontifices pän-ˈti-fə-ˌsēz How to pronounce pontifex (audio)
: a member of the council of priests in ancient Rome

Examples of pontifex in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The realistic, albeit absurdist, images of a fashionable pontifex went viral over the weekend via Twitter and other social media outlets, leading at least some to briefly wonder about their authenticity. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 28 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pontifex.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin pontific-, pontifex, from pont-, pons bridge + facere to make — more at find, do

First Known Use

1579, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pontifex was in 1579

Dictionary Entries Near pontifex

Cite this Entry

“Pontifex.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pontifex. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

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