Definition of plenary in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpliːnəri/


1Unqualified; absolute: crusaders were offered a plenary indulgence by the Pope
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  • They take as their point of reference the Holy Year of 1300 when Boniface VIII proclaimed the Church's first Jubilee and granted a plenary indulgence to all pilgrims; 200,000 of the faithful came.
  • A plenary indulgence may be gained each day up to and including November 8th, by visiting a cemetery and there praying for the holy souls and the Pope's intentions.
  • In fact, there was a nice irony in the Pope declaring a plenary indulgence for the millennium year only a few days before the Lutheran / Roman Catholic announcement on justification.
unconditional, unlimited, unrestricted, unqualified, absolute, complete, sweeping, comprehensive;
2(Of a meeting) to be attended by all participants at a conference or assembly, who otherwise meet in smaller groups: a plenary session of the European Parliament
More example sentences
  • The observers will play a full role in their groups, take part in committee meetings and attend plenary sessions without voting rights.
  • The plenary meeting met the quorum as it was attended by 31 councillors, or more than two-thirds of the 45 members of the regency council.
  • March would have seen the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and executive confirmed by the Assembly with a plenary meeting of the North South Ministerial Council.
full, fully constituted, general, complete, entire, open


A meeting or session attended by all participants at a conference or assembly: working parties would report back to the plenary with recommendations
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  • Our theme in 1998-1999 was ‘Urban Christianity,’ and the plenaries included sessions on the first urban Christians, the city of Atlanta, patterns of wealth and marginalization in the metropolis, and forms of church in the city.
  • In fact, much of the focus of the meeting - in workshops, in plenaries, at meals, on the beach and at Friday's rally - was on building and growing a movement.
  • Also, it didn't permit of holding such numbers on one site, so going from plenaries or the big seminars up the hill to detailed discussions involved a long trip across London.


Late Middle English: from late Latin plenarius 'complete', from plenus 'full'.

Words that rhyme with plenary

beanery, bicentenary, catenary, centenary, deanery, greenery, machinery, scenery, senary, septenary

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: plen|ary

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