an ecclesiastic of a high order, as an archbishop, bishop, etc.; a church dignitary.
Origin 1175–1225;Middle Englishprelat < Medieval Latinpraelātus a civil or ecclesiastical dignitary, noun use of Latinpraelātus (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
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]