Definitions

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

  • n. The principal church of a bishop's diocese, containing the episcopal throne.
  • n. A large, important church.
  • n. Something that resembles a cathedral, as in grandeur or authority.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or containing a bishop's throne: a cathedral church.
  • adj. Relating to or issuing from a chair of office or authority; authoritative.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or resembling a cathedral: tall trees whose branches met to form cathedral arches over the path.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A big church building, central place for some area.
  • n. The principal church of a bishop's diocese which contains an episcopal throne.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to the head church of a diocese.
  • adj. Emanating from the chair of office, as of a pope or bishop; official; authoritative.
  • adj. Resembling the aisles of a cathedral.
  • n. The principal church in a diocese, so called because in it the bishop has his official chair (Cathedra) or throne.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Containing a bishop's seat, or used especially for episcopal services; serving or adapted for use as a cathedral: as, a cathedral church.
  • Pertaining to a cathedral; connected with or suggesting a cathedral; characteristic of cathedrals: as, a cathedral service; cathedral music; the cathedral walks of a forest.
  • Emanating from or relating to a chair of office or official position; hence, having or displaying authority; authoritative.
  • n. The principal church in a diocese, which is specially the church of the bishop: so called from the fact that it contains the episcopal chair or cathedra.

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

  • adj. relating to or containing or issuing from a bishop's office or throne
  • n. the principal Christian church building of a bishop's diocese
  • n. any large and important church

Etymologies

Short for cathedral church, from Middle English cathedral, of a diocese, from Old French, from Medieval Latin cathedrālis, of a bishop's see, from Latin cathedra, chair; see cathedra.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From cathedral church, from Late Latin ecclēsia cathedrālis ("church having a bishop's seat"), from Ancient Greek καθέδρα (kathedra, "chair of a teacher, throne"), from κατά (kata, "down") + ἕδρα (hedra, "seat"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • She had a two-storey apartment, and in part of it they'd gone right through the ceiling to make what they call a cathedral ceiling.

    Michael Henry Adams: Great Houses of New York: River House, the Best Address, Part IV

  • Alongside the cathedral is a more modern branch of a bank that replaced a fantastically Moorish cinema building - long since demolished.

    'Vivo En Tampico' Part 4. Downtown (Revisited).

  • In the cathedral is the tomb of the Emperor Yturbide, and superb paintings, some by

    Six Months in Mexico

  • And also, that's the area where we are advancing in what we call the cathedral freezing, which Tim talked about, where we are some very innovative ways, being able to create freeze curtains around or in places that we didn't think we could get and extend freeze curtains in the past.

  • - A U.S. artist has unveiled a vast mural to what he called a cathedral of science …

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Buildings often resemble cathedrals [presumably Gothic churches -- we all know "cathedral" is not an architectural term, right?].

    Your One-Stop Catholic Shop for All Things "The Golden Compass"

  • The term cathedral in medieval times meant “the church of a bishop,” a shortening of the Latin phrase ecclesia cathedralis, literally “church of a bishop’s seat.”

    Rambles at starchamber.com » Blog Archive » What’s in a name?

  • This metaphysical sensitivity characterizes the medieval artistic vision, so that the Gothic cathedral is not to be primarily understood in functional or socio-economic or aesthetic terms, but in metaphysical and theological terms, and one has to ask what truth the cathedral symbolizes; how does God communicate with us in its beauty and form?

    The Theology and Metaphysics of the Gothic Cathedral - part 1

  • The cathedral was built, as most cathedrals in the German Empire at that time, with two choirs, an east choir for the high altar, and a west choir were the Emperor and his court would assist (remember that the Roman Emperors of the middle ages had no fixed capital, but moved from city to city; actually, Bamberg cathedral is not exactly oriented, thus the east choir is actually east-northeast, and west choir west-southwest).

    Catholic Bamberg: The Cathedral

  • As already mentioned in the installment about Bamberg Cathedral, this cathedral is distinguished by containing the only tomb of a pope north of the Alps. The Pope buried there is Clement II.

    Catholic Bamberg: The Vestments of Pope Clement II and Other Treasures from the Diocesan Museum

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.