[mon-see-nyer; Italian mawn-see-nyawr]
noun, plural Monsignors Italian, Monsignori [mawn-see-nyaw-ree] . Roman Catholic Church.
a title conferred upon certain prelates.
a person bearing this title.
Also, monsignor.

1635–45; < Italian < French Monseigneur monseigneur; see signor

monsignorial [mon-seen-yawr-ee-uhl, -yohr-] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Monsignor (mɒnˈsiːnjə, Italian monsiɲˈɲor)
n , pl Monsignors, Monsignori
RC Church Mgr, Abbreviation: Msgr an ecclesiastical title attached to certain offices or distinctions usually bestowed by the Pope
[C17: from Italian, from French Monseigneur]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

title conferred on some prelates, 1641, from It. monsignore, formed on model of Fr. monseigneur from equivalent elements in It.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


a title of honour in the Roman Catholic Church, borne by persons of ecclesiastic rank and implying a distinction bestowed by the pope, either in conjunction with an office or merely titular. All those who bear the title of monsignor belong to the "papal family" and are entitled to be present in the Cappella Pontificia (when the pope celebrates solemn mass) and to participate in all public religious and social celebrations, wearing the robes corresponding to their respective offices. The ecclesiastics who have a right to the title of monsignor are (1) patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops, who are addressed as "most reverend monsignor," (2) apostolic protonotaries and domestic prelates, who are addressed as "right reverend monsignor," and (3) private chamberlains, who are addressed as "very reverend monsignor" and lose their honorific title at the death of the pope.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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