Definitions

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

  • n. See episcopate.
  • n. A system of church government in which bishops are the chief clerics.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Government of the church by bishops.
  • n. Bishops collectively; episcopate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Government of the church by bishops; church government by three distinct orders of ministers -- bishops, priests, and deacons -- of whom the bishops have an authority superior and of a different kind.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Government of the church by bishops; that form of church government in which there are three distinct orders of ministers—bishops, priests or presbyters, and deacons.
  • n. The state of being a bishop; episcopal rank or office.

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

  • n. the collective body of bishops

Etymologies

From episcopate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin episcopātus. (Wiktionary)

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