Definitions

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

  • adj. Relating to, having the nature of, or constituting a title.
  • adj. Existing in name only; nominal: the titular head of the family.
  • adj. Bearing the title of a church or monastery that is no longer active.
  • adj. Bearing a title: titular dignitaries.
  • adj. Derived from a title: the titular role in a play.
  • n. One who holds a title.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, relating to, being, derived from, or having a title.
  • adj. Existing in name only; nominal.
  • adj. Named or referred to in the title.
  • n. One who holds a title.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Existing in title or name only; nominal; having the title to an office or dignity without discharging its appropriate duties.
  • n. A titulary.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of, pertaining to, or having a title, in any sense; existing in or by reason of title; so designated or entitled: as, titular rank, dignity, or rights; titular possession; a titular professor or incumbent of office (that is, one bearing the title, in distinction from an adjunct or a deputy).
  • Existing in or having the title only; being such only in name; so-called; nominal; not actual: as, a titular sovereignty or bishopric; the line of titular kings of Jerusalem.
  • Receiving the name (of), or used by name, as part of a title; giving or taking title. See quotation, and titular church, below.
  • n. A person who holds a title of office, or a right of possession independently of the functions or obligations properly implied by it; in ecclesiastical law, one who may lawfully enjoy a benefice without perfowning its duties.
  • n. One whose name is used as a title; specifically, the patron saint of a church.

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

  • adj. existing in name only
  • adj. of or pertaining to the title of a work of art
  • adj. of or relating to a legal title to something
  • adj. of or bearing a title signifying status or function
  • adj. of or associated with or bearing a title signifying nobility

Etymologies

From Latin titulus, title.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin titulus ("title"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Based on a true 18th Century Japanese story, the film follows a band of samurai swordsmen who are shamed into becoming the titular ronin — a Japanese word meaning lordless samurai, and must avenge the death of their master.

    Carl Erik Rinsch to Direct 47 Ronin | /Film

  • I'm sucked in to politics right now like a hungry tick on a bloodhound which means I've heard Joe Lieberman say the word titular one too many times today.

    September 2008

  • That's why they all have a so-called titular church here that they become responsible for.

    CNN Transcript Apr 8, 2005

  • The other advocates are called titular or simple advocates.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 1: Aachen-Assize

  • The exempt archbishops are called titular archbishops, i.e. they possess only the title of archbishop, have no suffragan bishops, and administer a diocese.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 5: Diocese-Fathers of Mercy

  • Quebec was not erected into a bishop's see until 1670, when its bishop was no longer called titular Bishop of Petræa, but Bishop of Quebec.

    The Conquest of Canada (Vol. 1 of 2)

  • In the conservatory of a small west London hotel, Cesar Millan - better known as the titular star of the hit programme

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • But for a whole generation Alex Chilton is best-known as the titular subject of a Replacements song.

    Deadspin

  • And finally, we got to see good old Desmond, who looked rather the worse for wear and was referred to as the titular package.

    Inside TV Blog

  • For avoidance of doubt, a female so called titular referral might be any of the following (these have all happened): miss, young lady or similar also, being called luv, my dear or darling by a man who is obviously not a friend of Dorothy

    theDraGnet

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