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

  • n. The district or churches under the jurisdiction of a bishop; a bishopric.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Administrative division of the later Roman Empire, starting with the Tetrarchy.
  • n. Region administered by a bishop.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The circuit or extent of a bishop's jurisdiction; the district in which a bishop exercises his ecclesiastical authority.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A district or division of a country; a province: now obsolete except when used with reference to Norway, an episcopal diocese (stift) of which, as a geographical division of the country, is sometimes regarded as a province, though it has no provincial civil administration.
  • n. Under the Roman empire after Diocletian and Constantine, a subdivision of a prefecture, comprising a number of provinces; hence, a corresponding extent of territory as an ecclesiastical division, including a number of provinces or eparchies, each province again containing a number of parœciæ, which themselves finally came to be called dioceses in the following (modern) sense.
  • n. The district, with its population, falling under the pastoral care of a bishop.

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

  • n. the territorial jurisdiction of a bishop


Middle English diocise, from Old French, from Late Latin diocēsis, from Latin dioecēsis, jurisdiction, from Greek dioikēsis, administration, from dioikein, to keep house, administer : dia-, intensive pref.; see dia- + oikein, to inhabit (from oikos, house.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin dioecēsis ("district under a governor"), from Ancient Greek διοίκησις (dioikēsis, "internal administration") (Wiktionary)



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