Definition of episcopacy in English:


Line breaks: epis|co¦pacy
Pronunciation: /ɪˈpɪskəpəsi
, ɛ-/

noun (plural episcopacies)

[mass noun]
1Government of a Church by bishops.
More example sentences
  • Second, there is the theological import of the American church's commitment to episcopacy.
  • By maintaining the practice of episcopacy, the post-Reformation Church of England drew its legitimacy from Medieval custom, not Biblical authority.
  • In the American church, these two schools of thought on episcopacy can best be illustrated by William White and by his nemesis, Samuel Seabury.
1.1 (the episcopacy) The bishops of a region or church collectively.
More example sentences
  • The molesters and their protectors in the episcopacy come from across the ideological landscape, from liberal to conservative churchmen, from priests trained before Vatican II to those ordained afterward.
  • The brave bishop has too few cohorts in the American episcopacy who are willing to challenge the ‘official’ state religion in the U.S.A.
  • Do you think that, on the whole, the American episcopacy is doing a poor job of communicating the gospel to its flock?
1.2The office of a bishop.
More example sentences
  • Orthodox people certainly can deeply appreciate the Rhodes conclusions regarding the impossibility of ordaining women to the priesthood and episcopacy.
  • Clergy especially are familiar with gently complaining stories like that of the Anglican and the Presbyterian arguing over whether the episcopacy is established in the Bible.


mid 17th century: from ecclesiastical Latin episcopatus 'episcopate', on the pattern of prelacy.

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