Definition of pontificate in English:

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Pronunciation: /pänˈtifiˌkāt/
[no object]
1(In the Roman Catholic Church) officiate as bishop, especially at Mass.
Example sentences
  • On the feast itself he pontificated at Mass and preached three times to the people.
  • As a Bishop he pontificated that night and consecrated the apostles bishops so they might say the Mass with him.
2Express one’s opinions in a way considered annoyingly pompous and dogmatic: he was pontificating about art and history
More example sentences
  • Others pontificate on health, telling us what we should and should not do to remain well, while we are overwhelmed with financial advice from experts whose predictions often turn out wrong.
  • Instead speakers from across the political spectrum pontificated over the ‘meaninglessness’ of official political reform efforts, listing countless reasons why the current regime has to go.
  • It is possible to prattle and pontificate about the cultural relevance of the cheap romance novel, and how its development, like, totally reflects the changes to women's status in society.
hold forth, expound, declaim, preach, lay down the law, sound off, dogmatize, sermonize, moralize, lecture
informal preachify, mouth off, bloviate


Pronunciation: /pänˈtifikət/
(also Pontificate)
(In the Roman Catholic Church) the office or tenure of pope or bishop.
Example sentences
  • Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni said: ‘Rome will grind to a halt to guarantee the full development of the demonstration of love for the pontificate, guaranteeing the maximum security for all the heads of state,’ he said.
  • Next, we'll be discussing what's next for the Catholic Church with a leading expert on the pontificate.



Pronunciation: /-ˈkāSHən/
Example sentences
  • Sociological accounts of the Indian village community also contradict Marxist pontifications on the subject.
  • Of course, I don't agree with many of their pontifications.
  • Fifth, the remedy cannot be pompous pontification or moral policing.


Pronunciation: /-ˌkātər/
Example sentences
  • And all the while, the talking heads talked, the pontificators pontificated, and the letters and e-mails flooded our offices.
  • One development in particular has been left almost entirely un-remarked upon by the army of armchair strategists and pontificators in Washington newsrooms and TV studios, although U.S. soldiers in the field are all too aware of it.
  • In contrast to governors, who position themselves as problem-solvers, senators are often cast as remote pontificators or, even more problematic, as Washington insiders and back-room compromisers.


Late Middle English (as a noun): from Latin pontificatus, from pontifex (see pontifex). The verb dates from the early 19th century.

Words that rhyme with pontificate

certificate certificate

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pon·tif·i·cate

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