Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A bishop of the highest rank, heading an archdiocese or province.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In the Roman Catholic Church and other churches, a senior bishop who is in charge of an archdiocese, and presides over a group of dioceses called a province.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A chief bishop; a church dignitary of the first class (often called a metropolitan or primate) who superintends the conduct of the suffragan bishops in his province, and also exercises episcopal authority in his own diocese.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A title used in the Christian church as early as the fourth century, and regularly given in that and the next four centuries to the bishops of the highest rank, afterward known as patriarchs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a bishop of highest rank

Etymologies

Middle English archebishop, from Old English arcebisceop, from Late Latin archiepiscopus, from Late Greek arkhiepiskopos : Greek arkhi-, archi- + Greek episkopos, bishop; see bishop.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From arch- +‎ bishop, from Latin archiepiscopus, from Ancient Greek ἀρχιεπίσκοπος (arkhiepiskopos), from ἀρχι- (archi-, “first, chief”) +‎ ἐπίσκοπος (episkopos, “overseer”), from ἐπισκοπέω (episkopeō, "I watch over"), from ἐπί (epi, “over”) +‎ σκοπέω (skopeō, “I examine”). (Wiktionary)

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