Definition of Gallican in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡaləkən/


1Relating to the ancient Church of Gaul or France.
Example sentences
  • Likewise, the procession of the deacons from the back of the church during the Gallican offertory was interpreted either as the angels bringing Christ to the incarnation or as the women coming to the empty tomb on Easter morning.
  • This alone was enough to ensure that the Catholic Church restored under the concordat bore little resemblance to the former Gallican church.
  • When Romanus withdraws into the rugged mountains and takes up life under a pine tree next to a spring, for instance, we see the adaptation of Eastern eremitical forms to the Gallican geographical context.
2Of or holding a doctrine (reaching its peak in the 17th century) that asserted the freedom of the Roman Catholic Church in France and elsewhere from the ecclesiastical authority of the papacy. Compare with ultramontane.
Example sentences
  • In 1512 Pope Julius II convoked the Fifth Lateran Council to counter the efforts by a group of schismatic French cardinals to increase their power and influence in Italy by holding a largely Gallican council at Pisa in 1511.
  • Benedict was aware that the Roman book was ‘missing’ a number of elements commonly used in the rich and diverse congeries of local uses which comprised the Gallican liturgy.
  • They found their way into various early liturgies, especially the Gallican and Mozarabic.


An adherent of the Gallican doctrine.
Example sentences
  • A second and related set of tensions divided Gallicans, who insisted on the independence of the national Church, and ultramontanes, who were more respectful of papal authority.
  • For the greater glory of the French monarchy, Gallicans and Jesuits are forced to strike a balance between philology and elegance, citation and creative imitation, critical judgment and natural talent, invention and elocution.
  • The Gallicans, on the other hand, favored a strongly French church with only ceremonial ties to Rome.



Pronunciation: /-ˌnizəm/
Example sentences
  • Known throughout the world for their ultramontane views that fiercely defended the interests of the papacy, the Jesuits did not support the arguments for local control contained in Gallicanism and other reform-minded philosophies.
  • It successfully eliminated the remnants of the Conciliar Movement and crushed ecclesiastical nationalism in the form of Gallicanism and its counterparts in several nations.
  • While the Jansenists leaned towards Gallicanism, the episcopacy leaned towards ultramontanism.


Late Middle English: from Old French gallican, or from Latin Gallicanus, from Gallicus (see Gallic).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Gal·li·can

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