[nuhn-shee-oh, -see-oh, noon-]
noun, plural nuncios.
a diplomatic representative of the pope at a foreign court or capital: equal in status to an ambassador.

1520–30; < Italian nuncio, nunzio < Latin nūncius, nūntius messenger Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nuncio (ˈnʌnʃɪˌəʊ, -sɪ-)
n , pl -cios
RC Church a diplomatic representative of the Holy See, ranking above an internuncio and esp having ambassadorial status
[C16: via Italian from Latin nuntius messenger]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

papal envoy, 1528, from It. nuncio (now nunzio), from L. nuntius "messenger," from PIE base *neu- "to shout" (cf. Gk. neuo "to nod, beckon," O.Ir. noid "make known").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


a Vatican representative accredited as an ambassador to a civil government that maintains official diplomatic relations with the Holy See. He promotes good relations between the government and the Holy See and observes and reports to the pope on the conditions of the Roman Catholic church in the region. A full nuncio is named only to those countries that adhere to a decision of the Congress of Vienna (1815) that the papal representative automatically becomes dean of the diplomatic corps there. In 1965 the name pronuncio was given to those ambassadors whose rank in the diplomatic corps depends solely on seniority. An internuncio is a Vatican diplomat with the rank of minister plenipotentiary; he is accredited to a civil government and performs duties corresponding to those of a nuncio. Compare apostolic delegate.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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