Definition of prelature in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprɛlətjʊə/


1The office, rank, or sphere of authority of a prelate.
Example sentences
  • Opus Dei was founded by a priest, has a bishop at its head, and numbers many priests and bishops among its members; its full name, before it was erected as a personal prelature, was the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei.
  • The authorities of the prelature must totally avoid even so much as giving advice on these matters.
  • Thomas is a member of Opus Dei, the personal prelature of the Pope comprised of lay persons.
1.1 (the prelature) Prelates collectively.


Early 17th century: from French prélature, from medieval Latin praelatura, from praelatus 'civil dignitary' (see prelate).

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