from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A high-ranking Christian cleric, in modern churches usually in charge of a diocese and in some churches regarded as having received the highest ordination in unbroken succession from the apostles.
  • noun Games A usually miter-shaped chess piece that can move diagonally across any number of unoccupied spaces.
  • noun Mulled port spiced with oranges, sugar, and cloves.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To administer the rite of confirmation to; admit solemnly into the church; confirm.
  • To confirm (anything) formally.
  • To appoint to the office of bishop.
  • To let (milk, etc.) burn while cooking: in allusion to the proverb, “The bishop has put his foot in it.”
  • [Supposed to be from Bishop, the name of a horse-dealer.] In farriery, to make (an old horse) look like a young one, or to give a good appearance to (a bad horse) in order to deceive purchasers.
  • [From a man named Bishop, who in 1831 drowned a boy in order to sell his body for dissection. Cf. burke.] To murder by drowning.
  • noun An overseer: once applied to Christ in the New Testament.
  • noun In the earliest usage of the Christian church, a spiritual overseer, whether of a local church or of a number of churches; a ruler or director in the church. See elder and presbyter.
  • noun From an early time, an overseer over a number of local churches; particularly, in the Greek, Oriental, Roman Catholic, and Anglican churches, the title of the highest order in the ministry. See episcopacy.
  • noun A name formerly given to a chief priest of any religion.
  • noun A name given in the United States about 1850 to a woman's bustle.
  • noun A hot drink made with bitter oranges, cloves, and port wine.
  • noun In entomology: A name of various heteropterous hemipterous insects, also called bishop's-miters. They injure fruit by piercing it, and emit an intolerable odor.
  • noun A name of the lady-birds, the small beetles of the family Coccinellidæ.
  • noun One of the pieces or men in chess, having its upper part carved into the shape of a miter. Formerly called archer. See chess.
  • noun A bishop in relation to his comprovincial bishops and their archbishop or metropolitan. This title is used of the other bishops of the Church of England in relation to the archbishops.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To admit into the church by confirmation; to confirm; hence, to receive formally to favor.
  • noun A spiritual overseer, superintendent, or director.
  • noun In the Roman Catholic, Greek, and Anglican or Protestant Episcopal churches, one ordained to the highest order of the ministry, superior to the priesthood, and generally claiming to be a successor of the Apostles. The bishop is usually the spiritual head or ruler of a diocese, bishopric, or see.
  • noun (R. C. Ch.) a bishop of a see which does not actually exist; one who has the office of bishop, without especial jurisdiction.
  • noun (R. C. Ch.) a term officially substituted in 1882 for bishop in partibus.
  • noun See under Bench.
  • noun In the Methodist Episcopal and some other churches, one of the highest church officers or superintendents.
  • noun A piece used in the game of chess, bearing a representation of a bishop's miter; -- formerly called archer.
  • noun A beverage, being a mixture of wine, oranges or lemons, and sugar.
  • noun United States An old name for a woman's bustle.
  • transitive verb (Far.) To make seem younger, by operating on the teeth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive, obsolete To make (a horse) seem younger, by cutting its teeth short, then scooping out an oval cavity in the corner nippers and burning it black with a hot iron.
  • noun A high ranking official in the Catholic church who governs a diocese, or a similar official in other denominations and religions. (Occasionally abbreviated as Bp. when used as a title.)
  • noun chess A piece that may be moved only diagonally.
  • noun slang penis (see bash the bishop).
  • noun slang sex toy.

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

  • noun (chess) a piece that can be moved diagonally over unoccupied squares of the same color
  • noun port wine mulled with oranges and cloves
  • noun a senior member of the Christian clergy having spiritual and administrative authority; appointed in Christian churches to oversee priests or ministers; considered in some churches to be successors of the twelve Apostles of Christ


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

[Middle English, from Old English bisceope, from Vulgar Latin *ebiscopus, from Late Latin episcopus, from Late Greek episkopos, from Greek, overseer : epi-, epi- + skopos, watcher; see spek- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the surname of the person who first practiced it.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English bishop, from Old English biscop ("bishop"), from Vulgar Latin *biscopus, from Latin episcopus ("overseer, supervisor"), from Ancient Greek ἐπίσκοπος (episkopos, "overseer"), from ἐπί (epi, "over") + σκοπέω (skopeō, "I examine"). Cognate with West Frisian biskop ("bishop"), Dutch bisschop ("bishop"), German Bischof ("bishop"), Swedish biskop ("bishop"), Norwegian biskop ("bishop"), Icelandic biskup ("bishop"), Gothic  (aipiskaupus, "bishop").


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  • One can make a meta-linguistic move and use paraphrases like ˜the bishop mentioned first™ and the ˜bishop mentioned second™, but precisely which bishop was mentioned first?

    Descriptions Ludlow, Peter 2007

  • What image of a bishop, for instance, could possibly form in his mind when I rapped our code-sign for _bishop_?

    The Jacket (Star-Rover) Jack London 1896

  • [641: 3] "You ought to know that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop, and _if any be not with the bishop_, that _he is not in the Church_."

    The Ancient Church Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution 1854

  • DRYDEN'S translation of Virgil being commended by a right reverend bishop, Lord Chesterfield said, "The original is indeed excellent; but everything suffers by a _translation_, -- except a _bishop_!"

    The Jest Book The Choicest Anecdotes and Sayings Mark Lemon 1839

  • Christians take the title bishop (used at first only in the plural) to designate their rulers?

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 7: Gregory XII-Infallability 1840-1916 1913

  • Epistles to Timothy and Titus, which is assisted by a supposed analogy between the position of the Apostles and of their successors; although the term bishop is clearly used in the passages referred to as well as in other parts of the New Testament indistinguishably from Presbyter, and the magisterial authority of bishops in after ages is unlike rather than like the personal authority of the Apostles in the beginning of the Gospel.

    Scripture and Truth: Dissertations by the Late Benjamin Jowett with Introduction by Lewis Campbell. 1817-1893 1907

  • The term bishop is never once used to denote a different office from that of elder or presbyter.

    Easton's Bible Dictionary M.G. Easton 1897

  • Meetings, and if unsuitable persons are chosen, the fault rests with them The description which Paul has given of a good bishop will apply to ministers and elders, for the term bishop only means an overseer in spiritual things.

    Memoirs of Samuel M. Janney, 1881

  • There can be a distinction between two levels of the second tier of ministry, and we can use the title bishop for the top level, and presbyter for the bottom, so long as we understand that we aren't endorsing an essential, Apostolicly-instituted distinction between the two.

    orrologion 2009

  • However, I have read that in some places being (or dressing?) as a priest, or even better, a bishop is an irresistable provocation to some women.

    ring finger 2008

  • I cannot inform LEGOUR why the lady-bird (the seven-spotted, Coccinella Septempunctata, is the most common) is called in some places "Bishop Barnaby."

    Notes And Queries, Issue 9. LAMBERT B. LARKING. 2020


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  • Used as a verb, meaning to file down a horse's teeth, to deceive a buyer about the horse's age. Named for the first scoundrel to engage in the practice.

    October 26, 2007

  • So that the horse doesn't look long in the tooth, I presume?

    October 26, 2007

  • Wow. I didn't know this word could be a verb. How velly intellesting...

    October 26, 2007

  • Fascinating!

    October 26, 2007

  • Hey, that's a very good connection, skipvia! That phrase never did make sense to me. But I've gotta say, what a despicable deed is this bishoping. I'm not exactly what you might call an "animal person," but this sounds incredibly cruel even to me. Then again, I think I have an abnormal fear of scraping/filing body parts: teeth, toenails, elbow bones, jawbones... yeesh...

    October 26, 2007

  • I'm not sure it actually hurts the horse at all, u. I could be wrong, but it seems to me like it would be similar to filing nails, or even cutting hair. I've seen on "Dirty Jobs" (Discovery Channel) how they clean up horses' feet and trim their hooves so they can walk comfortably. It looks terrifying but the horses don't mind a bit.

    Our guinea pig once got long in the tooth (because he wasn't gnawing enough on hard things) and had to get his teeth clipped or filed or whatever it is they do. I was very worried about it and wondered if they'd have to knock him out, but he came right out no worse for the wear and quite happy.

    With the added bonus of not having to drool parsley juice down his excuse for a chin anymore.

    Sionnach, I wonder if this verb could be applied to someone who does this for a guinea pig as well, and if that person would still be considered a scoundrel, or just a veterinarian. Hmm...

    October 26, 2007

  • All I know is if you filed my teeth down, I would be indignant. And you would be in the hospital for a very long time. ;-)

    October 26, 2007

  • If you have horses, though, sometimes you need to float their teeth to grind down sharp edges.

    October 27, 2007

  • Guinea pigs have chins?

    October 27, 2007

  • Well, they have an excuse for chins, as I mentioned.

    October 27, 2007

  • Also, getting back to the word "bishop," apparently it comes from the same root word as "periscope." I was told this by a linguistics major who was delighted at the mental image of a man in full episcopal regalia being thrust through the roof of a submarine.

    He was a weird date.

    October 27, 2007

  • Well, the etymological relationship is so clear. They both have an "op" sequence in them, and they share an "s" and an "i." Who wouldn't have guessed that?

    October 27, 2007

  • Yeah, it's the root of "episcopal" too.

    Oh crap! Maybe I messed up! Maybe it's just "episcopal" and "periscope" that are related, and "bishop" has nothing to do with it.

    Now who's the weird date? *hurries to look up etymology of "bishop"*

    Oh, whew. I was right.

    October 27, 2007

  • That's all very interesting and stuff, but remind me never to ask you out. ;-)

    October 27, 2007

  • We can't date. You're already trying to control me. Remember your demand of me never ever to feed you on the poop? when I never even offered to feed you upon the poop? Hmph.

    *turns away and folds arms*

    You can take your butt paste and go now.

    October 27, 2007

  • But what bishop has to do with filing horse's teeth...

    sionnach, was it named for the first (recorded) scoundrel to engage in the practice because his name was Bishop, or because he was a bishop? Any idea?

    October 27, 2007

  • Well, I know that knight, king, queen, and pawn are verbs, so ...

    October 27, 2007

  • P.S. Uselessness... that was a joke... *wan smile*

    October 28, 2007

  • I'm never speaking to you again.

    Oh wait, I just did. Nevermind then.

    October 28, 2007

  • Gosh, this is a fun page. Poor sionnach. ;-)

    October 28, 2007

  • And whatever you do, never buy a horse from someone called bishop feague!

    November 5, 2007

  • A peevish, ill-natured boy; a rammer or weighty piece of wood used by pavers. --Dr. Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary and Supplement, 1841.

    May 26, 2011