Definitions

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

  • adj. Of or relating to a bishop.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or involving church government by bishops.
  • adj. Of or relating to the Episcopal Church.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or relating to the affairs of a bishop in various Christian churches.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Governed by bishops.
  • adj. Belonging to, or vested in, bishops

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Belonging to or vested in bishops or prelates; characteristic of or pertaining to a bishop or bishops; characterized by episcopacy: as, episcopal jurisdiction; episcopal authority; the episcopal costume; the Episcopal Church.
  • [capitalized] Of or pertaining to the Episcopal Church, especially some branch of the Anglican Church specifically so called; relating to or connected with Episcopalianism: as, Episcopal principles or practices; an Episcopal clergyman or diocese; the Protestant Episcopal liturgy.
  • n. [capitalized] An Episcopalian.

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

  • adj. denoting or governed by or relating to a bishop or bishops
  • adj. of or pertaining to or characteristic of the Episcopal church

Etymologies

Middle English, from Late Latin episcopālis, from episcopus, bishop; see bishop.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin episcopus, from Ancient Greek ἐπίσκοπος (episkopos, "watching over") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In many of the dioceses, where the distances are enormous, it is customary for the bishop to take one or more auxiliary bishops, known as episcopal vicars, for the governing of parts of the diocese.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 6: Fathers of the Church-Gregory XI

  • Custom prescribes that a layman or a cleric of inferior grade on being presented to a bishop should kiss his hand, that is to say his episcopal ring, but it is a popular misapprehension to suppose that any indulgence is attached to the act.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 13: Revelation-Stock

  • In the early days of the Reformation the prevalent form of government was that known as the episcopal, which transferred the jurisdiction of the bishops to the civil ruler.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 9: Laprade-Mass Liturgy

  • [331: 3] In fact, to this day, what is called the episcopal succession in the ancient Church of Rome is an historical riddle.

    The Ancient Church Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution

  • Hence the so-called episcopal succession is most uncertain and confused at the very time when it should be sustained by evidence the most decisive and perspicuous.

    The Ancient Church Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution

  • In 1870 Italy annexed the Papal states and it had to create a position for the Pope and the Holy See (that is, the episcopal jurisdiction of the Church in Rome) that reflected the Pope's importance as head of the Catholic Church.

    Top stories from Times Online

  • Both claim to be The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth Iker notes that the Episcopal Church doesn't own the word "episcopal," which also refers to bishops, and a battle looms over who owns church properties.

    RELIGION Blog | dallasnews.com

  • No doubt an important factor in the Pope's decision will be the outcome of the synod of Dutch bishops which by papal command will be held in Rome beginning on January 14, 1980 — a kind of episcopal Canossa.

    Quo Vadis, Wojtyla?

  • Church was so powerful, bishops had a kind of episcopal marshal, and usually there was also an episcopal jail, where ecclesiastical offenders were confined.

    Las Casas 'The Apostle of the Indies'

  • It is infinitely probable that St. Ambrose received Augustin, not exactly as a man of no account, but still, as a sheep of his flock, and not as a gifted orator, and that, in short, he shewed him the same "episcopal" benevolence as he had from a sense of duty for all his hearers.

    Saint Augustin

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