Definition of visitation in English:



  • 1The appearance of a divine or supernatural being.

    ‘visitations in the form of a child whimpering’
    ‘the blinding light signified a visitation from God’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, I greeted the arrival of our housekeeper like a divine visitation.’
    • ‘Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi was one of the great Talmudic sages, a man so holy he merited visitations from the prophet Eliyahu (Elijah).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Bollywood's recent supernatural visitations have an unlikely parallel in English literature's Romantic period, says Aparna Raman.’
    • ‘Many believed that God heard and answered prayers, while others believed in ongoing divine revelations through prophecies or visitations by angels.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And Miranda's supernatural visitations, which began on the night of the murder, are escalating in both frequency and intensity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Presently, Satan and his demons make visitations to the earth,… going to and fro in the earth, and… walking up and down in it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you recite the ‘Our Father’ ‘with total concentration’, as Simone did, maybe you too will benefit of such extraordinary heavenly visitations.’
    • ‘Transpersonal encounters refer to encounters with angels, demons, and other spiritual visitations.’
    • ‘Whatever it was, it was an extraordinary visitation from some spiritual place beyond.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I know of nothing with which to compare it; but it was much more violent than other spiritual visitations.’
    • ‘It was a visitation, I have not the slightest doubt about that.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Throughout history there have been reports of ghosts, apparitions and spiritual visitations, both angelic and demonic.’
    • ‘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.’
    apparition, appearance, manifestation, materialization, emergence, vision
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  • 2An official visit of inspection, especially one by a bishop to a church in his 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.’
    • ‘The Parish Council wish to thank Mr William Rothwell, Ryland for making parish facilities available for the recent Visitation of Graves in Calvary Cemetery.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 bishop was coming on one of his rare visitations,’ O'Connor explained.’
    • ‘They could hold visitations of all the dioceses in the province and exercise spiritual oversight of any vacant see.’
    • ‘Just two years after having been consecrated bishop of Bergamo, Giambattista Milani tried to institute a visitation at S. Maria Maggiore.’
    • ‘In this Regimento do auditorio ecclesiastico were detailed instructions for conducting visitations in the communities of the archbishopric.’
    • ‘Revivals have come packaged in many forms, local church visitations and nation-wide awakenings.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The churches in major cities have developed a system of weekly visitation and diaconal care for members and friends.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Later this year, the Vatican is expected to begin an apostolic visitation of U.S. seminaries.’
    • ‘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 task force found that home visitations by trained personnel play an effective role in the reduction of child maltreatment, including abuse and neglect.’
    • ‘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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    1. 2.1 A pastoral or charitable visit, especially to the sick or poor.
      ‘a number of lay women devoted themselves to visitations of the sick’
      • ‘Deaf publications frequently noted churches hospitable to Sign Language and visitations from Deaf ministers.’
      • ‘It bears wonderful witness to the far-reaching power of evangelistic preaching, self-sacrifice, and persistent house-to-house visitation.’
      • ‘He was a country minister and was going for a round of visitation.’
      • ‘The friendships developed through this ministry extended beyond the intended scope of the sacramental visit to include personal ministries and visitation.’
      • ‘This book will be particularly useful to any committed person in a parish who is involved in hospital visitation.’
    2. 2.2informal An unwelcome or unduly protracted social visit.
      ‘boring visitations took up most of the afternoon’
      • ‘Maybe it was the over indulgence of food and the endless visitation of family members that made me feel guilty’
  • 3US Law
    mass noun A divorced person's right to spend time with their children in the custody of a former spouse.

    ‘the mother was uncooperative with visitation’
    as modifier ‘a visitation schedule’
    • ‘Being legally acknowledged or legitimated is important for matters such as custody, visitation and inheritance.’
    • ‘This posed a dilemma for those noncustodial parents who relied on the airlines to facilitate long-distance visitation.’
    • ‘Second, in a custody proceeding, a court may grant grandparents visitation rights if it is in the best interests of the child.’
    • ‘Yet the government spends $340 on enforcing child support for every $1 it spends on enforcing visitation rights.’
    • ‘Thus, they could claim rights such as visitation, custody and so on.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There is a growing trend toward using mediation to reach an agreement on the terms of a divorce (child custody, visitation, and property distribution).’
    • ‘For these reasons, the Supreme Court voided the visitation order.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In recent years, masculinists have focused on father's rights in custody, visitation and reasonable child support.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The focus of a mediated divorce is on reaching an equitable solution to such issues as spousal support, property division, child custody, visitation, etc.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It also stipulates that if a mental health-care provider does testify, the testimony is limited to the custody or visitation case in question.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 4US A gathering with the family of a deceased person before the funeral.

    ‘the visitation will be held today at the funeral home’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Is it appropriate for close friends and family of the deceased to touch the body during a visitation or viewing?’
    • ‘We encourage you to urge your child to attend the visitation and funeral.’
    • ‘Now my parents and everyone else I know want me to go to the funeral and to the visitation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was at his moms and sister's visitations and funerals.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 5A disaster or difficulty regarded as a divine punishment.

    ‘a visitation of the plague’
    • ‘I think the people who committed that heinous crime deserve every visitation of justice that we can bring to them.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He kneels before Mary in the Visitation, Elizabeth and John adjacent to him as intermediaries, requesting Mary's intercessory role on his behalf.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 6.1 The festival commemorating the Visitation of the Virgin Mary, on 31 May (formerly 2 July).
      • ‘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).