pontiff

noun
pon·​tiff | \ˈpän-təf \

Definition of pontiff 

1 : pontifex

2 : bishop specifically, often capitalized : pope sense 1

Examples of pontiff in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Vatican officials, however, cautioned against interpreting the pontiff’s pastoral outreach as a definitive ruling on the nature-versus-nurture question or as a change in church teaching. Jason Horowitz, BostonGlobe.com, "‘God made you this way,’ pope is said to have told gay man," 21 May 2018 Vatican officials, however, cautioned against interpreting the pontiff’s pastoral outreach as a definitive ruling on the nature-versus-nurture question or as a change in church teaching. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "‘God Made You This Way,’ Pope Is Said to Have Told Gay Man," 21 May 2018 The director is clearly an admirer of Francis (both the saint and the pope), and was able to conduct extensive and exclusive interviews with the pontiff. Walter Addiego, Houston Chronicle, "In documentary, Pope Francis urges ‘‘a poor church for the poor’," 19 May 2018 Vatican tradition had called for the pontiff to eat by himself. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, "Eating Alone," 6 July 2018 But the Argentine pontiff clearly believes that emphasizing a poor church ministering to the world’s outcasts is a more authentic, appealing — and ultimately evangelizing — global message than a defense of orthodoxy and Europe’s Christian roots. Jason Horowitz, BostonGlobe.com, "As Ireland joins Europe’s sprint from Catholic fold, Francis looks south," 27 May 2018 Vatican tradition had called for the pontiff to eat by himself. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, "Eating Alone," 6 July 2018 Tuesday was the five-year anniversary of Pope Francis's election as head of the Catholic Church, and to mark the occassion the world got its first look at a new film featuring the pontiff. Sofia Lotto Persio, Newsweek, "First Look at Pope Francis Starring as Himself in New Wim Wenders Movie," 14 Mar. 2018 Vatican tradition had called for the pontiff to eat by himself. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, "Eating Alone," 6 July 2018

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

1552, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for pontiff

French pontif, from Latin pontific-, pontifex

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6 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for pontiff

The first known use of pontiff was in 1552

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