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prelate

[prel-it] /ˈprɛl ɪt/
noun
1.
an ecclesiastic of a high order, as an archbishop, bishop, etc.; a church dignitary.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English prelat < Medieval Latin praelātus a civil or ecclesiastical dignitary, noun use of Latin praelātus (past participle of praeferre to prefer), equivalent to prae- pre- + lātus, suppletive past participle of ferre to bear1
Related forms
prelateship, noun
prelatic
[pri-lat-ik] /prɪˈlæt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective
nonprelatic, adjective
unprelatic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for prelate
  • The prelate found their invectives groundless, except that the want of a priest was a real defect in the community.
  • The individual-prince or prelate, patrician or professor-stands for the collective.
  • For diplomats present the prelate's words were laced with meaning.
  • Throttlebottom looks mighty absurd in those prelate's vestments.
  • Every one of these undertakings was a work of time and much labour, and cost the holy prelate many prayers and tears.
  • By the end of the century, the aging prelate had determined to dispose of his collection.
  • Instead the prelate embraced this friar and appeared with him in the streets.
  • They shouted goodbys and the aged prelate turned and bade them a smiling farewell.
British Dictionary definitions for prelate

prelate

/ˈprɛlɪt/
noun
1.
a Church dignitary of high rank, such as a cardinal, bishop, or abbot
Derived Forms
prelatic (prɪˈlætɪk), prelatical, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French prélat, from Church Latin praelātus, from Latin praeferre to hold in special esteem, prefer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for prelate
n.

c.1200, from Old French prelat (Modern French prélate) and directly from Medieval Latin prelatus "clergyman of high rank," from Latin praelatus "one preferred," noun use of past participle of praeferre (see prefer), from prae "before" (see pre-) + latus "borne, carried" (see oblate (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for prelate

an ecclesiastical dignitary of high rank. In the modern Roman Catholic church, prelates are those who exercise the public power of the church. True prelacy is defined as "preeminence with jurisdiction," and true, or real, prelates are distinguished as (1) greater prelates, those who possess episcopal jurisdiction (such as patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops), and (2) lesser prelates, those who possess a quasi-episcopal or other jurisdiction (such as abbots and prelates "of no diocese" and religious superiors, withdrawn from the ordinary diocesan jurisdiction).

Learn more about prelate with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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