Definition of Pantocrator in US English:



  • A title of Christ represented as the ruler of the universe, especially in Byzantine church decoration.

    ‘an impressive Pantocrator in the dome’
    • ‘From the dome over the central nave, Christ Pantocrator, he who embraces all things, looks down from heaven on his church on earth. He presides over the worship of heaven, depicted in the form of the church's worship below.’
    • ‘The image of Christ Pantocrator, the all powerful, in the semidome of Monreale's apse is not terrifying, unlike its pictures in the art books.’
    • ‘A fire in 1595 destroyed much of the original art but one of the most impressive pieces - the great mosaic of Christ Pantocrator luckily survived.’
    • ‘In 1968 he offered her a Moscow school icon of Christ Pantocrator of about 1500 that had been exhibited at the Edinburgh Festival the previous year.’
    • ‘Taken together, the components of Pantocrator allude to all of creation and to time present, time past and time yet to be.’


Late 19th century: via Latin from Greek, ‘ruler over all’.