an ecclesiastic of a high order, as an archbishop, bishop, etc.; a church dignitary.

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

prelateship, noun
prelatic [pri-lat-ik] , adjective
nonprelatic, adjective
unprelatic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
prelate (ˈprɛlɪt)
a Church dignitary of high rank, such as a cardinal, bishop, or abbot
[C13: from Old French prélat, from Church Latin praelātus, from Latin praeferre to hold in special esteem, prefer]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

c.1200, from M.L. prelatus "clergyman of high rank," from L. prelatus "one preferred," from prælatus, serving as pp. of præferre (see prefer), from præ "before" + latus "borne, carried" (see oblate (n.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Recently, a grey area between the camps had emerged, with many prelates
  recognised by both sides.
The reception and the entertainment of the visiting prelates will bo looked
  after by the local clergy.
Prelates from a variety of different religious organizations have been
  imprisoned or detained or exiled.
With little other news, the prelates gained a hearing far beyond their flocks.
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