Definitions

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

  • noun A system of church government in which bishops are the chief clerics.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun The state of being a bishop; episcopal rank or office.

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

  • noun 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun the collective body of bishops

Etymologies

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

[From episcopate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin episcopātus.

Examples

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