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encyclical Line breaks: en|cyc¦lic¦al
Pronunciation: /ɛnˈsɪklɪk(ə)l/
/ɪnˈsɪklɪk(ə)l/ /ɛnˈsʌɪk(ə)l/ /ɪnˈsʌɪk(ə)l/

Definition of encyclical in English:


A papal letter sent to all bishops of the Roman Catholic Church.
Example sentences
  • For the next hundred years, scholars, theologians, and students will be pouring over the papal encyclicals that have come out of the Vatican.
  • Still, he relies exclusively on the magisterial expressions found in the new catechism and in papal encyclicals.
  • At that time, English Catholic school children studied the papal encyclicals Rerum novarum and Quadragesimo anno.


Mid 17th century (as an adjective): via late Latin from Greek enkuklios 'circular, general', from en- 'in' + kuklos 'a circle'.

Definition of encyclical in:
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