\ ˈpōp How to pronounce pope (audio) \

Definition of pope

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

Examples of pope in a Sentence

The cardinals elected a new pope.
Recent Examples on the Web Its 94 recommendations included a call for a formal apology by the pope on Canadian soil. Washington Post, 27 Mar. 2022 Indigenous leaders have called for Pope Francis to apologize — a demand echoed again Friday by Trudeau, who said the pope should visit Canada to do it. Rob Gillies, Star Tribune, 25 June 2021 The portrait of the Medici pope will remain at the Pitti rather than return to its former home at the Uffizi. Eric Sylvers, WSJ, 2 June 2021 The pope has questioned whether the authority’s effectiveness as an environmental regulator is undermined by its institutional structure. Todd Woody, Los Angeles Times, 19 Apr. 2022 Full legislative, judicial and executive authority resides with the pope. CNN, 31 Mar. 2022 Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky maintained his busy schedule of trying to rally international support for Ukraine, speaking Tuesday with the pope and, separately, the Italian parliament. WSJ, 23 Mar. 2022 Francis was elected pope in 2013 in large part on his promise to reform the Vatican bureaucracy, which acts as the organ of central governance for the 1.3 billion-strong Catholic Church. Arkansas Online, 20 Mar. 2022 Francis was elected pope in 2013 in large part on his promise to reform the bulky and inefficient Vatican bureaucracy, which acts as the organ of central governance for the 1.3-billion strong Catholic Church. Nicole Winfield, ajc, 19 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pope. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for pope


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

Kids Definition of pope

: the head of the Roman Catholic Church

Pope biographical name (1)

\ ˈpōp How to pronounce Pope (audio) \

Definition of Pope

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Alexander 1688–1744 English poet

Other Words from pope

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


biographical name (2)

Definition of Pope (Entry 2 of 2)

John 1822–1892 American general


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