Definition of cathedral in English:



  • The principal church of a diocese, with which the bishop is officially associated.

    in names ‘St Paul's Cathedral’
    • ‘He has continued to live at Minster House next to the cathedral while on sabbatical leave.’
    • ‘Clerics from the wealthiest churches and cathedrals had robes as fine as any worn by nobles and princes.’
    • ‘At first glance, the New College Chapel looks like the many other churches and cathedrals that abound in Oxford.’
    • ‘They have sung by invitation in cathedrals, chapels, pubs and clubs.’
    • ‘There is no need of vestments, bishops or cathedrals to worship Him, only a repentant heart and a will to follow.’
    • ‘With the exception of Worcester Cathedral, William appointed Norman bishops to these cathedrals.’
    • ‘Thus early monasteries may be associated with cathedrals, colleges, and minsters.’
    • ‘A two-minute silence was observed across the city in churches, cathedrals, shops and homes.’
    • ‘Durham Cathedral is one of the most majestic cathedrals in Britain and a unique combination of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.’
    • ‘Stained glass was originally restricted to churches and cathedrals.’
    • ‘Since his release last April he has sought sanctuary at the cathedral after receiving death threats.’
    • ‘Sometimes these lectures were held in the schools, but other times they were held in churches or cathedrals.’
    • ‘Now, I rarely go to church except to visit great cathedrals or quaint roadside chapels.’
    • ‘When many people think of the Church, they think of cathedrals, stained glass windows and buildings with a cross on top.’
    • ‘Masons were highly skilled craftsmen and their trade was most frequently used in the building of castles, churches and cathedrals.’
    • ‘And what is true of the Minster is true of the cathedrals and parish churches throughout the land.’
    • ‘Many cathedrals, including York Minster, allow girls to sing in this traditionally male-dominated arena.’
    • ‘This entrance to Amiens Cathedral in France shows just how vast cathedrals were.’
    • ‘Many ancient churches and cathedrals in the British Isles, for example, are built on sites that were originally sacred to pagans.’
    • ‘Everything in a Gothic cathedral is like a book full of meaning; cathedrals have been called encyclopaedias of stone.’


Middle English (as an adjective, the noun being short for cathedral church ‘the church which contains the bishop's throne’): from late Latin cathedralis, from Latin cathedra ‘seat’, from Greek kathedra.