noun, plural papacies. Roman Catholic Church.
the office, dignity, or jurisdiction of the pope.
the system of ecclesiastical government in which the pope is recognized as the supreme head.
the period during which a certain pope is in office.
the succession or line of the popes.

1350–1400; Middle English papacie < Medieval Latin pāpātia. See pope, -acy

antipapacy, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
papacy (ˈpeɪpəsɪ)
n , pl -cies
1.  the office or term of office of a pope
2.  the system of government in the Roman Catholic Church that has the pope as its head
[C14: from Medieval Latin pāpātia, from pāpapope1]

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

1393, from M.L. papatia "papal office," from L.L. papa "pope" (see pope).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

papacy definition

The office or position of the pope.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Xenophobia is the preferred weapon against the adherents of the papacy.
But deflecting criticism has proved challenging for this papacy.
The papacy came under the control of vying political factions.
My specialty, if you can call it that, was the papacy.
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