Definition of Doctor of the Church in US English:

Doctor of the Church

noun

  • One of the early Christian theologians regarded as especially authoritative in the Western Church (particularly St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, and St. Gregory the Great) or later so designated by the Pope (e.g., St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Teresa of Ávila).

    Compare with documentarian (sense 1)
    • ‘In 1997, she was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II, who has acknowledged her influence on the Second Vatican Council.’
    • ‘Both have been declared Doctors of the Church, but somehow, St Theresa's fame seems to have outlasted that of her famous contemporary.’
    • ‘Albertus was made a Saint and declared a Holy Doctor of the Church on 16 December 1931 and his feast day is 15 November in each year.’
    • ‘He was canonized in 1494 and named a Doctor of the Church in 1720.’
    • ‘In 1946 St Anthony was made a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII because of the simple way in which he taught the gospel to the illiterate and the innocent.’