One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of an ecclesiastic: not wearing a mitre; not having episcopal rank or authority; (especially of a bishop) deprived of office, dismissed. Hence (of a non-ecclesiastic): having authority or influence compared to that of a bishop.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Randle Holme (1627–1700), herald painter. From un- + mitred.
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