Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  papal bull
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a letter or announcement from the Pope to the Catholic world
Etymology:  so called because a lead bulla or seal was attached to the Pope's edict by a cord
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

papal bull

in Roman Catholicism, an official papal letter or document. The name is derived from the lead seal (bulla) traditionally affixed to such documents. Since the 12th century it has designated a letter from the pope carrying a bulla that shows the heads of the apostles Peter and Paul on one side and the pope's signature on the other

Learn more about papal bull with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
There are no forums to discuss the latest papal bull.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature