Definition of visitation in English:



  • 1(in church use) an official visit of inspection, especially one by a bishop to a church in the bishop's diocese.

    • ‘They are contained in a 434-page report on the diocese which follows on from a parish-by-parish visitation conducted by Bishop Miller over the last number of months.’
    • ‘In this Regimento do auditorio ecclesiastico were detailed instructions for conducting visitations in the communities of the archbishopric.’
    • ‘When the bishop of a geographically large rural diocese made a visitation to one of its small mission congregations, he ended by asking the vicar if there was anything he could do to help.’
    • ‘Just two years after having been consecrated bishop of Bergamo, Giambattista Milani tried to institute a visitation at S. Maria Maggiore.’
    • ‘It is suggested also that the bishops should devise a system of regular visitations of the dioceses of their fellow bishops, a proposal, it is suggested, that should pose no threat to bishops who do not fear being held accountable.’
    • ‘Everywhere in their dioceses, especially in the hinterland beyond the cities in which they were located, bishops on visitations encountered priests who were appallingly ignorant.’
    • ‘The Parish Council wish to thank Mr William Rothwell, Ryland for making parish facilities available for the recent Visitation of Graves in Calvary Cemetery.’
    • ‘The task force found that home visitations by trained personnel play an effective role in the reduction of child maltreatment, including abuse and neglect.’
    • ‘He has not made his mind up yet as to whether it would be wise to go on a Visitation because of the strange situation of one Dean going and another waiting to be appointed by Downing Street.’
    • ‘They could hold visitations of all the dioceses in the province and exercise spiritual oversight of any vacant see.’
    • ‘He did so by regular visitations to parishes for Sunday liturgy and other sacramental and ministerial activities, as well as to other institutions, such as hospitals, where his presence brought comfort and hope.’
    • ‘‘The bishop was coming on one of his rare visitations,’ O'Connor explained.’
    • ‘The churches in major cities have developed a system of weekly visitation and diaconal care for members and friends.’
    • ‘On April 22, 1575, Carlo Borr omeo obtained permission from Pope Gregory XIII to carry out such a visitation of the diocese of Bergamo.’
    • ‘The document will be normative for the universal Church and, it is expected, will play an important part in the visitation of American seminaries ordered by the Pope last April.’
    • ‘Later this year, the Vatican is expected to begin an apostolic visitation of U.S. seminaries.’
    • ‘Revivals have come packaged in many forms, local church visitations and nation-wide awakenings.’
    • ‘The visitation comes in the wake of the clergy sexual-abuse scandal, a scandal some in the Vatican attribute to the alleged lack of discipline or worse in our seminaries.’
    official visit, visit, inspection, tour of inspection, survey, review, scrutiny, examination
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  • 2The appearance of a divine or supernatural being.

    • ‘Presently, Satan and his demons make visitations to the earth,… going to and fro in the earth, and… walking up and down in it.’
    • ‘I am referring to the reports of miracles, faith healers, visitations by angelic or demonic beings, ghosts or goblins, or contact with dearly departed friends and relatives.’
    • ‘Our prayer is for a visitation of the Holy Spirit, to rescue men and women lost in darkness and superstition, and to bring to them the light of the gospel of the grace of God in Jesus Christ.’
    • ‘Throughout history there have been reports of ghosts, apparitions and spiritual visitations, both angelic and demonic.’
    • ‘The Viking invasions he saw - like most of his contemporaries, in England and elsewhere - as a visitation of divine vengeance on a people that had fallen into decadent ways.’
    • ‘Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi was one of the great Talmudic sages, a man so holy he merited visitations from the prophet Eliyahu (Elijah).’
    • ‘But marriage - as I believe anyone who has been married for more than an hour knows well - possesses an almost supernatural power to provoke sudden visitations by the spirits of ancestors.’
    • ‘A godly woman you have known for years and whom you love and know to be absolutely trustworthy tells you she received a Visitation from an angel last night when she was at prayer.’
    • ‘And Miranda's supernatural visitations, which began on the night of the murder, are escalating in both frequency and intensity.’
    • ‘Perhaps the recent troubles were a wake up call to those in the church who at first could not believe what was happening, maybe once again it must act as the apostles did after the visitation of the Holy Spirit.’
    • ‘Transpersonal encounters refer to encounters with angels, demons, and other spiritual visitations.’
    • ‘The other explanation could be that as life was evolving in this planet earth there were visitations in spaceships by human-like forms from advanced civilizations of different planets and worlds.’
    • ‘If you recite the ‘Our Father’ ‘with total concentration’, as Simone did, maybe you too will benefit of such extraordinary heavenly visitations.’
    • ‘Many believed that God heard and answered prayers, while others believed in ongoing divine revelations through prophecies or visitations by angels.’
    • ‘Bollywood's recent supernatural visitations have an unlikely parallel in English literature's Romantic period, says Aparna Raman.’
    • ‘It was a visitation, I have not the slightest doubt about that.’
    • ‘He was inspired, and his inspiration was interpreted as a divine visitation or as the surge of the unconscious over the conscious mind as he drifted into the realm of dreams, trances, and visions.’
    • ‘Whatever it was, it was an extraordinary visitation from some spiritual place beyond.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, I greeted the arrival of our housekeeper like a divine visitation.’
    • ‘I know of nothing with which to compare it; but it was much more violent than other spiritual visitations.’
    apparition, appearance, manifestation, materialization, emergence, vision
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  • 3US A gathering with the family of a deceased person before the funeral.

    • ‘Is it appropriate for close friends and family of the deceased to touch the body during a visitation or viewing?’
    • ‘I will usually represent the university at the funeral or any type of visitation with the family to let them know we are grieving with them.’
    • ‘If someone in the community died, funeral visitations would typically be held twenty kilometres down the road in Middle Musquodoboit, or even in Truro, more than 50 kilometers away.’
    • ‘We encourage you to urge your child to attend the visitation and funeral.’
    • ‘He was at his moms and sister's visitations and funerals.’
    • ‘Now my parents and everyone else I know want me to go to the funeral and to the visitation.’
    • ‘The daughter of the surviving sister drove some distance to be present for the visitation and funeral, thinking about how sad her mother would be, how she would miss those weekends with her sister.’
    • ‘The family held the visitation and wake in their home in Ballincurry as hundreds of fellow students, neighbours and friends came to say farewell to the lovely young girl who was so popular.’
    • ‘He stayed by her side throughout the entire ordeal, during the visitation, the funeral, the lowering of her grandfather's casket into the ground, and even as they began cleaning out the house.’
  • 4Law
    A divorced person's right to spend time with their children in the custody of a former spouse.

    • ‘Second, in a custody proceeding, a court may grant grandparents visitation rights if it is in the best interests of the child.’
    • ‘In recent years, masculinists have focused on father's rights in custody, visitation and reasonable child support.’
    • ‘Yet while judges sometimes use homosexuality as one factor among many in making custody and visitation determinations, no state categorically bars gays from raising children.’
    • ‘Under this proposal a parent could cohabitate with several partners over a period of years and each of these partners could be granted shared custody and visitation rights.’
    • ‘Child custody and visitation rights are becoming flashpoints in our society: Men are desperate to be a part of their children's lives.’
    • ‘Many states have struggled with the treatment of domestic violence in the context of custody, visitation, and abuse and neglect.’
    • ‘The focus of a mediated divorce is on reaching an equitable solution to such issues as spousal support, property division, child custody, visitation, etc.’
    • ‘For lesbians and gay men who have children, or who wish to have them, the potential impact of Lawrence on child custody, visitation and adoption decisions is profound.’
    • ‘All fifty states have statutes granting grandparents, and sometimes other third parties, the right to petition a court for visitation with children - even when the parents object.’
    • ‘There is a growing trend toward using mediation to reach an agreement on the terms of a divorce (child custody, visitation, and property distribution).’
    • ‘Being legally acknowledged or legitimated is important for matters such as custody, visitation and inheritance.’
    • ‘Awareness of the inner father is also very important in the development and evaluation of laws and social policy around parental divorce, child custody, and visitation arrangements.’
    • ‘It also stipulates that if a mental health-care provider does testify, the testimony is limited to the custody or visitation case in question.’
    • ‘The result of all this litigation is to put Susan in the position of having to choose between having visitation with her children and allowing her civil union partner to live with her.’
    • ‘For these reasons, the Supreme Court voided the visitation order.’
    • ‘Paragraph five provided visitation in one of the father's houses in Dubai for up to two weeks duration and up to four times per annum.’
    • ‘Thus, they could claim rights such as visitation, custody and so on.’
    • ‘This posed a dilemma for those noncustodial parents who relied on the airlines to facilitate long-distance visitation.’
    • ‘The First Amendment is implicated not only when courts issue orders restricting parents' speech, but also when courts make custody or visitation decisions based on such speech.’
    • ‘Yet the government spends $340 on enforcing child support for every $1 it spends on enforcing visitation rights.’
  • 5A disaster or difficulty regarded as a divine punishment.

    ‘a visitation of the plague’
    • ‘If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then The Lord hath not sent me.’
    • ‘After men came to terms with the psychological shock of the plague visitations, society adjusted remarkably well, though not without turmoil.’
    • ‘I think the people who committed that heinous crime deserve every visitation of justice that we can bring to them.’
    affliction, scourge, bane, curse, ordeal, plague, pestilence, blight, disaster, tragedy, calamity, catastrophe, cataclysm
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  • 6The visit of the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth related in Luke 1:39–56.

    • ‘He kneels before Mary in the Visitation, Elizabeth and John adjacent to him as intermediaries, requesting Mary's intercessory role on his behalf.’
    • ‘At the Visitation, evoked in the second sentence, Mary was already the mother of Elizabeth's Lord and ours - within the first trimester of his life among us.’
    • ‘The scenes on the south wall concern Christ's infancy, in the upper register the Annunciation, the Visitation, and the Flight into Egypt, and less visibly in the lower register, the Journey of the Magi and the Presentation in the Temple.’
    • ‘In 1586, the MIA commissioned Francesco Bassano to paint four oval canvases of the Birth of the Virgin, the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, the Annunciation, and the Visitation.’
    • ‘In this same chapter on the Visitation, some quotations from Latin are helpfully translated, while other, longer, passages are not.’
    1. 6.1The festival commemorating the Visitation on May 31 (formerly July 2)
      • ‘May 31, Feast of the Visitation, has as its reading at morning prayer the simile from Isaiah in which God has wrapped the recipient in a robe of justice ‘like a bride bedecked with her jewels.’’


Middle English: from Old French, or from late Latin visitatio(n-), from the verb visitare (see visit).