1

pontifical

play
noun pon·tif·i·cal \ pän-ˈti-fi-kəl \

Definition of pontifical

1 :episcopal attire; specifically :the insignia of the episcopal order worn by a prelate when celebrating a pontifical mass usually used in plural
2 :a book containing the forms for sacraments and rites performed by a bishop

Origin and Etymology of pontifical

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin pontificale, from neuter of pontificalis


2

pontifical

adjective

Definition of pontifical

1 a :of or relating to a pontiff or pontifex
b :celebrated by a prelate of episcopal rank with distinctive ceremonies
  • pontifical mass
2 :pompous
3 :pretentiously dogmatic

pontifically

play \-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of pontifical in a Sentence

  1. a theater critic known for his pontifical pronouncements on what is or is not worth seeing

Recent Examples of pontifical from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pontifical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of pontifical

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin pontificalis, from pontific-, pontifex


PONTIFICAL Defined for English Language Learners

pontifical

adjective

Definition of pontifical for English Language Learners

  • : of, relating to, or coming from a pope


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