\ 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

Noun The cardinals elected a new pope.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The leftist strand of Catholicism first bloomed in Latin America under the dictatorships of the 1970s and 80s and has enjoyed a resurgence since Pope Francis, a follower of liberation theology, became the first Latino pope in 2013. Time, "'Our Work Is Helping People Find Happiness.' Meet the Leftist Nuns Helping Migrants at the U.S.-Mexico Border," 7 Jan. 2020 Just as the pope appears to turn to walk away from the crowd, a woman reaches out, grabs his hand and then jerks him forcefully toward her. NBC News, "Disgruntled Pope Francis swats hand of woman tugging his arm," 1 Jan. 2020 If the official finding of pilot error is correct, then his father, an experienced stick-and-rudder man who previously flew the pope on a visit to India in 1964, bears responsibility for the deaths of 116 people alongside his own. The Economist, "Death in the Alps," 20 Dec. 2019 On one wall, Garcia has a photo of the pope and pictures of her three kids and six grandchildren, one of whom had just texted her from Texas to say hello. Steve Lopezcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Learning Spanish at a Boyle Heights hair salon reminds me what I love about L.A.," 19 Oct. 2019 Days earlier, the pope also accepted the resignation of Luigi Ventura, the Vatican's ambassador to France, who faces accusations of molesting a male employee of the city of Paris. NBC News, "Don't let Church failings drive you away, Pope urges in Christmas message," 25 Dec. 2019 The cameras record the debates on DVDs for the CDF’s own archives and in case the pope ever wants to see what transpired. Nicole Winfield, Anchorage Daily News, "Vatican office struggles to keep up with rise in clergy abuse cases," 21 Dec. 2019 Francis is the first pope in 35 years – after Pope John Paull II – to visit Buddhist-majority Thailand. Fox News, "Pope Francis, in Bangkok, urges respect for prostitutes, victims of human trafficking," 22 Nov. 2019 Little is known about the series except that there will be two popes, one played by Law and another played by John Malkovich. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "The 24 Most Anticipated TV Shows of Fall 2019," 9 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for pope

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

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Statistics for pope

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pope.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pope. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for pope


How to pronounce Pope (audio)

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).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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