Definition of protopapas in US English:



  • Especially in the Byzantine Empire: a senior cleric granted jurisdiction over members of the Greek Orthodox Church.


Late 17th century; earliest use found in George Wheler (1651–1724), Church of England clergyman and scholar. From Byzantine Greek πρωτοπαπᾶς, πρωτοπαππᾶς senior priest from ancient Greek πρωτο- + Byzantine Greek παπᾶς priest. Compare post-classical Latin protopapa, Italian protopapa.