Definition of bishop in English:



  • 1A senior member of the Christian clergy, usually in charge of a diocese and empowered to confer holy orders.

    • ‘The understanding of the role of the bishop in a diocese involves seeing the bishop as representing Jesus Christ among the priests and people of his diocese.’
    • ‘With deference to tradition, the cardinals went first, archbishops and bishops followed and the priests came last.’
    • ‘I fear the day when the laity selects the bishop of each diocese.’
    • ‘Two senior members of the bishop's staff quit when the service was cancelled amid claims by the Church that the timing was not appropriate.’
    • ‘In the end, the episcopate came to the United States through the nonjuring bishops of the Episcopal Church in Scotland.’
    • ‘There needs to be a real sharing of power in the church, especially in choosing pastors and bishops and in supervising church finances.’
    • ‘The local diocesan bishop is charged with enforcement of all these requirements.’
    • ‘The archbishops and bishops of the Church were likewise to contribute soldiers, or an equivalent amount in money.’
    • ‘About 100 church members joined the bishop of Mississippi here for about an hour-long service here.’
    • ‘Under the proposal, Lutherans would also accept the historic line of bishops within the Episcopal Church.’
    • ‘At first glance, the statement yesterday from bishops in the Episcopal Church USA looks pretty good.’
    • ‘The brothers' father was also an Anglican bishop of Low Church or Evangelical faith.’
    • ‘That governs, ordinarily, the arrangements of priests and bishops and archbishops within the Greek Orthodox Church.’
    • ‘The spiritual peerage consists of the archbishops and diocesan bishops of the Church of England.’
    • ‘The courses themselves are run by the church, with significant participation by the diocesan bishop.’
    • ‘The bishops of the Church of England have called upon all Christians to pray for a just and peaceful resolution to this crisis.’
    • ‘Certainly the pope and the church's cardinals and bishops must correct the mistakes of the past.’
    • ‘By the sixth century, Christian bishops and clergy had become far more numerous than the civil service.’
    • ‘The Catholic position is that there is only one true church of Jesus Christ, and its bishop is in Rome.’
    • ‘The most important leader in every large church was a bishop who supervised other clergy.’
    prelate, diocesan, metropolitan, suffragan, coadjutor
    View synonyms
  • 2An African weaver bird, the male of which has red, orange, yellow, or black plumage.

    • ‘I believe the bird upper right in the above photo is an Orange Bishop (Euplectes franciscanus).’
    • ‘Bright colored feathers of the bishop bird adorn his headdress.’
    • ‘Such costs should influence the female's decision of where to start a breeding attempt and might explain why female red bishops do not show a preference for males with many nests.’
    • ‘The cuckoo was taken from the nest of a red bishop bird.’
  • 3A chess piece, typically with its top shaped like a mitre, that can move in any direction along a diagonal on which it stands. Each player starts the game with two bishops, one moving on white squares and the other on black.

    • ‘On the one hand, the pieces were easily distinguishable by easily recognisable symbols atop a pedestal - the King with a crown, the Queen with a coronet and the bishop by a mitre.’
    • ‘Each was set up on opposite ends of the board, with each player having two bishops and two rooks.’
    • ‘Though black got a good attack on the queenside, Prakash defended well and came up with the right moves to win the game in a bishop and pawn ending in 51 moves.’
    • ‘He therefore ignored the move, advancing a bishop across the board.’
    • ‘Unfortunately for White, his queen is overworked; it is the only piece guarding the bishops.’
    • ‘The rook is no match for two bishops despite the extra pawns.’
    • ‘But this resulted in the immediate loss of a piece as Adams took a pawn with his bishop attacking the black queen.’
    • ‘Which of the following pieces is the most potent in a game of chess - the rook, the bishop the knight, the queen or the pawn?’
    • ‘To move her bishop to strike his knight would leave the king open on two sides without escape, a checkmate.’
    • ‘You may eventually notice that bishops stay on a single color, that pawns don't move very fast, or that the queen is feared by other pieces.’
    • ‘For example, thinking that trading a rook and pawn for a bishop and knight is usually an equal trade.’
    • ‘He shouted as he moved his bishop into check mate.’
    • ‘The pawn structure Black obtains with this move does not work well with the bishop on b7.’
    • ‘But white blundered away a pawn when rooks were exchanged, then had to sack his bishop to stop a passed pawn.’
    • ‘Exchanging dark-squared bishops is of course a useful positional objective but will White have enough compensation?’
    • ‘It may take him many weeks to realize that bishops move only along diagonals and rooks move only along orthorgonals.’
    • ‘Every chess bishop moves on a diagonal, and none of those on black squares ever move to white squares (in the same game).’
    • ‘After all, the knight was the only piece guarding the attacked bishop.’
    • ‘Black simply sacrifices one of the bishops for White's remaining pawn.’
    • ‘Then the two met in the seventh round and drew after 57 moves in an opposite-coloured bishop ending as both kept their title hopes alive.’
  • 4[mass noun] Mulled and spiced wine.

    • ‘The 2005 Glaetzer Bishop is dense plum/purple in colour, with crushed black pepper, liquorice and anise on the nose.’
    • ‘Glogg, gluhwein, poker beer, bishop, toddy, hot punch, flip, rumfustian, and wassail are all of the warmed spirit family.’
    • ‘It is sometimes called “purple wine” and received the name “bishop” from its colour.’
    • ‘Our guide handed out copies of a recipe for bishop, a kind of mulled wine popular in Victorian times at Christmas.’


Old English biscop, bisceop, based on Greek episkopos overseer, from epi above + -skopos -looking.