Definition of apostolate in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /əˈpɒstəleɪt/


1(Chiefly in Roman Catholic contexts) the position or authority of an apostle or a religious leader.
Example sentences
  • I suspect his bishop will still not be terribly happy to have him claiming to be a Catholic apostolate.
1.1A group of apostles or religious leaders: the male-only apostolate
More example sentences
  • These were the recognition of global diversity within the church, religious ecumenism, an emphasis on lay apostolates, and the re-definition of the relation between the Church and non-Christian religions.
  • But laypersons should not hesitate to involve themselves in the intellectual apostolate.
  • It is in this diversity that the Society is able to accomplish its work in schools, in parishes, in retreat houses, and in countless other apostolates: it leads not to degeneration but to generation.
1.2A form of evangelistic activity or work: their main apostolates lie in the areas of education or nursing services
More example sentences
  • Much the same as Pius X, he spurred on the laity through the apostolate of Catholic Action, which he had reorganized in 1923 and purged of party intrigue.
  • During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, project after project attempting to set on foot a crusade was made, and we refer to them merely to point out that the spirit of a militant apostolate continued to ferment in the soul of France.
  • In 1981 he returned to Khon Kaen and was entrusted with the apostolate for leprosy patients and their families.


Late Middle English: from ecclesiastical Latin apostolatus, from apostulus (see apostle).

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.