Definition of episcopate in US English:



  • 1The office or term of office of a bishop.

    • ‘A person is ordained into the historic episcopate, but does not ‘receive’ it.’
    • ‘The Church Society rejected any suggestion the episcopate should be open to women, and said their ordination had damaged the Anglican Church.’
    • ‘Instead it called for ‘further theological study on the episcopate, focusing on the issues that need to be addressed in preparation for the debate on women in the episcopate of the Church of England’.’
    • ‘By his death, Theodore had built up the episcopate and created an organized, united church under Canterbury.’
    • ‘If the episcopate * as an office * is the problem then what are we saying?’
    1. 1.1the episcopate The bishops of a church or region collectively.
      • ‘Furthermore, no single policy emanated from the government because of the individualism of licensors, and of divisions within the episcopate, and between James and the leading churchmen.’
      • ‘For him, conciliarism was essentially a teaching about the shared responsibility of the whole episcopate, whether gathered in council or scattered in the dioceses.’


Mid 17th century: from ecclesiastical Latin episcopatus ‘made a bishop’, from episcopus ‘bishop’, from Greek episkopos ‘overseer’ (see bishop).