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[poo l-pit, puhl-] /ˈpʊl pɪt, ˈpʌl-/
a platform or raised structure in a church, from which the sermon is delivered or the service is conducted.
the pulpit.
  1. the clerical profession; the ministry.
  2. members of the clergy collectively:
    In attendance were representatives of medicine, the pulpit, and the bar.
(especially in Protestantism and Judaism) the position of pastor or rabbi:
He heard of a pulpit in Chicago that was about to be vacated.
  1. a safety rail rising about 18 to 30 inches (48 to 76 cm) from the deck near the bow and extending around it.
  2. a similar rail at the stern.
a control booth in a factory, usually elevated and glass-enclosed, from which an operator can observe and direct the manufacturing process.
1300-50; Middle English < Late Latin pulpitum pulpit, Latin: platform, stage
Related forms
pulpital, adjective
pulpitless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pulpit
  • He said that he should never resume pastoral work, and this sermon therefore marked his retirement from the pulpit.
  • The thing is, you have a sanctioned pulpit from which to speak regularly.
  • He had said such things from the pulpit in the past.
  • In a fun way, without my having to resort to the role of the bully in the pulpit.
  • Nor does it guarantee that one possess a bully pulpit in the department of one's choice.
  • But lacking royal legitimacy and real power, a president must use the bully pulpit to be effective.
  • The biggest directly elected office in the country is also a bully pulpit.
  • His is the best pulpit from which to goad rich and poor countries alike into tearing down trade barriers.
  • He favoured using the presidential bully pulpit to drive home the importance of saving.
  • When symbolic, you get to use the bully pulpit for free.
British Dictionary definitions for pulpit


a raised platform, usually surrounded by a barrier, set up in churches as the appointed place for preaching, leading in prayer, etc
any similar raised structure, such as a lectern
a medium for expressing an opinion, such as a column in a newspaper
the pulpit
  1. the preaching of the Christian message
  2. the clergy or their message and influence
Word Origin
C14: from Latin pulpitum a platform
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pulpit

early 14c., from Late Latin pulpitum "raised structure on which preachers stand," in classical Latin "scaffold; stage, platform for actors," of unknown origin. Also borrowed in Middle High German as pulpit (German Pult "desk"). Sense of "Christian preachers and ministers generally" is from 1560s. Pulpiteer, old contemptuous term for "professional preacher," is recorded from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pulpit in the Bible

(Neh. 8:4). (See EZRA.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Article for pulpit

in Western church architecture, an elevated and enclosed platform from which the sermon is delivered during a service

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