\ 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

With Charles as emperor—and the ruler of so much territory—the prospect of his dominance aroused the resistance of other rulers, including the pope and princes in northern Europe. William Anthony Hay, WSJ, "‘Emperor’ Review: A Sovereign on the Move," 21 June 2019 The couple were close personal friends of Presidents Roosevelt, William McKinley and William Howard Taft, as well as several cardinals and popes. Jeff Suess, Cincinnati.com, "Book shows Maria Longworth Storer was more than Rookwood Pottery," 24 June 2019 This magnificent place—carved from a storied Baroque palazzo literally built for a pope—will feature a dedicated room for Michele’s clothes that is just about the size of his present home. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Inside the Wild World of Gucci’s Alessandro Michele," 15 Apr. 2019 Copernicus had made no attempt to challenge papal authority in his writings, and his dedication goes to great lengths to establish his respect for the pope. National Geographic, "Copernicus's revolutionary ideas reorganized the heavens," 9 Apr. 2019 The stage for the pope’s outdoor Mass on Sunday in Dublin, under construction earlier this month. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Sex Abuse to Cast Shadow Over Pope’s Ireland Visit," 23 Aug. 2018 Bishops across Canada have offered a number of rationales for the pope’s decision. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, "Pope Francis won’t apologize for abusive church-run schools in Canada, and lawmakers aren’t happy," 2 May 2018 The case places both the cardinal and the pope in potentially perilous territory. Rod Mcguirk, BostonGlobe.com, "Pope Francis’ former finance minister faces sex abuse charges," 1 May 2018 One said Bransfield slapped him on the buttocks at Castel Gandolfo in Italy, the summer residence of the pope. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Report: W. Va. bishop sent diocese funds to abuse victims," 5 June 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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Statistics for pope

Last Updated

15 Jul 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

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food or victuals

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