\ ˈpōp How to pronounce pope (audio) \

Definition of pope

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 often capitalized : a prelate who as bishop of Rome is the head of the Roman Catholic Church
2 : one that resembles a pope (as in authority)
3a : the Eastern Orthodox or Coptic patriarch of Alexandria
b : a priest of an Eastern church


biographical name (1)
\ ˈpōp How to pronounce Pope (audio) \

Definition of Pope (Entry 2 of 3)

Alexander 1688–1744 English poet


biographical name (2)

Definition of Pope (Entry 3 of 3)

John 1822–1892 American general

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Other Words from pope

Biographical name (1)

Popian or less commonly Popean \ ˈpō-​pē-​ən How to pronounce Popean (audio) \ adjective

Examples of pope in a Sentence


The cardinals elected a new pope.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The pope agreed to launch one, but then proceeded to drag his feet on the matter. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Joanna of Naples," 3 July 2018 The pope spoke as Trump's policy continued to draw condemnation across U.S. society and around the world. Chico Harlan And William Branigin, Houston Chronicle, "Pope Francis criticizes Trump's family-separation policy, says 'populism is not the solution'," 20 June 2018 The pope also voiced his support for immigrants on Twitter Wednesday morning. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Pope Francis Just Criticized Trump's Immigration Policy Separating Migrant Children From Their Parents," 20 June 2018 The nation’s Ukrainian bishops will nominate three candidates to succeed Soroka, and the pope will make the final decision. Kristin E. Holmes, Philly.com, "The archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Philadelphia retires and goes home," 10 June 2018 The pope chose him out of the crowd and kissed him twice. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Pope makes child cancer survivor's wish come true with kiss, ride in popemobile," 28 Mar. 2018 Critics of Francis say the pope has a spotty record on abuse. New York Times, "Abuse Victims Meet With Pope Francis: ‘We Need Concrete Actions’," 2 May 2018 Wright and his wife, Patty, will accompany Villanova president the Rev. Peter M. Donahue and the university’s board of trustees for a private audience with the pope on Saturday. Joe Juliano, Philly.com, "Jay Wright's post-championship schedule includes audience with the Pope," 11 Apr. 2018 Breakthrough On Friday morning the head of Juncker's Cabinet, Martin Selmayr, tweeted a picture of white smoke - a humourous reference to the Vatican's tradition of announcing a new pope. Gabrielle Banks, Houston Chronicle, "Texas prisons begin effort to move inmates back to overheated unit at center of lawsuit," 19 Feb. 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pope


Middle English, from Old English pāpa, from Late Latin papa, from Greek pappas, papas, title of bishops, literally, papa

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Statistics for pope

Last Updated

6 May 2019

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Time Traveler for pope

The first known use of pope was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for pope



English Language Learners Definition of pope

: the head of the Roman Catholic Church


noun, often capitalized
\ ˈpōp How to pronounce pope (audio) \

Kids Definition of pope

: the head of the Roman Catholic Church

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More from Merriam-Webster on pope

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pope

Spanish Central: Translation of pope

Nglish: Translation of pope for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pope for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pope

Comments on pope

What made you want to look up pope? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something valued as if it were money

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