Definition of prelate
: an ecclesiastic (such as a bishop or abbot) of superior rank
Recent Examples of prelate from the Web
While criminal charges have been brought against more than 100 priests in Australia alone, few senior Catholic prelates around the world have been brought to account.
How many prelates stood up when an imam and his assistant were murdered in Queens, or when a mosque was burned in Florida?
At the Council of Clermont, in 1095, Pope Urban II addressed a crowd of prelates, knights, and nobles—the leaders of the Latin West.
Bishop Farrell is among the few prelates in the United States to issue emphatic pleas for gun control, a surprising move for a bishop based in the open-carry state of Texas.
Massimo Franco, a columnist for Corriere della Sera, a national newspaper, wrote recently that Francis apparently canceled a meeting with Cardinal Bagnasco after the Italian prelate went public with his support for the opposition rally.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prelate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of prelate
Middle English prelat, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin praelatus, literally, one receiving preferment, from Latin (past participle of praeferre to prefer), from prae- + latus, past participle of ferre to carry — more at tolerate, bear
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
PRELATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of prelate for English Language Learners
: a high-ranking Christian priest : a bishop, cardinal, etc.
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