Definition of titular in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈtiCHələr/


1Holding or constituting a purely formal position or title without any real authority: the queen is titular head of the Church of England a titular post
More example sentences
  • Come to think of it, if I was a socialist leader (in a real and not titular sense), and Castro had saved me from a coup attempt while offering free doctors and so on, I don't know that I would turn it down.
  • They bear symbolic, titular power whilst real power has migrated elsewhere.
  • However, his leadership is more titular than real.
nominal, in title only, in name only, ceremonial, honorary, so-called;
token, puppet
1.1 [attributive] (Of a cleric) nominally appointed to serve a diocese, abbey, or other foundation no longer in existence, and typically in fact having authority in another capacity.
Example sentences
  • In 1677, he became a titular bishop, and spent the rest of his life ministering to the minority Roman Catholic populations in northern Germany, Denmark, and Norway.
  • Kemp was created a titular cardinal in 1439, recognition of his political stature; he rarely visited York diocese.
  • Predictably, the monks fought him tooth and nail; ruthlessly, the archbishop, who was their titular abbot, exiled them and broke their resistance.
2Denoting a person or thing from whom or which the name of an artistic work or similar is taken: the work’s titular song
More example sentences
  • On the opener ‘I Don't Blame You,’ the singer is accompanied by a simple piano melody, adding more power to the accusation her voice harbors despite the song's titular disclaimer.
  • The song's titular scream provides the frozen emotional centerpiece for a feverish and insistent dirge, and a rare moment of absolute release amidst an album often marked by a chilling sense of emotional confinement.
  • Several of Russia's national districts unilaterally raised themselves to the higher form, but only five of what came to be twenty-one national republics inside Russia had a majority of the titular nationality.
eponymous, identifying
2.1 [attributive] Denoting any of the parish churches in Rome to which cardinals are formally appointed: the priests of the titular churches


Late 16th century (in the sense 'existing only in name'): from French titulaire or modern Latin titularis, from titulus (see title).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tit·u·lar

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.