Pontiff
Pontiff Pon"tiff, n. [F. pontife, L. pontifex, -ficis; pons, pontis, a bridge (perhaps originally, a way, path) + facere to make. Cf. {Pontoon}.] A high priest. Especially: (a) One of the sacred college, in ancient Rome, which had the supreme jurisdiction over all matters of religion, at the head of which was the Pontifex Maximus. --Dr. W. Smith. (b) (Jewish Antiq.) The chief priest. (c) (R. C. Ch.) The pope. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Pontiff — or Pontificate is a title of certain religious leaders, now used principally to refer to leaders such as the Pope of the Catholic Church and of the Coptic Orthodox Church. An ecclesiastical history, ancient and modern, from the birth of Christ to …   Wikipedia

  • pontiff — [pän′tif] n. [Fr pontife < LL(Ec) pontifex (gen. pontificis), bishop < L, high priest, orig. ? bridge maker, path finder < pons (gen. pontis), bridge (see PONS) + facere, to make, DO1] 1. PONTIFEX 2. a) a bishop …   English World dictionary

  • pontiff — (n.) c.1600, high priest, from Fr. pontif (early 16c.), from L. pontifex, title of a Roman high priest (see PONTIFEX (Cf. pontifex)). Used for bishop in Church Latin, but not recorded in that sense in English until 1670s, specifically the bishop… …   Etymology dictionary

  • pontiff — ► NOUN ▪ the Pope. ORIGIN Latin pontifex high priest , from pons bridge + fex, from facere to make …   English terms dictionary

  • pontiff — [[t]pɒ̱ntɪf[/t]] pontiffs N COUNT: usu the N The Pontiff is the Pope. [FORMAL] The Pontiff celebrated mass before a crowd of tens of thousands of worshippers in Mexico City. Syn: Pope …   English dictionary

  • pontiff — UK [ˈpɒntɪf] / US [ˈpɑntɪf] noun [countable] Word forms pontiff : singular pontiff plural pontiffs formal the Pope …   English dictionary

  • pontiff — [17] In ancient Rome, members of the highest college of priests were known by the epithet pontifex. This looks as though it should mean ‘bridgemaker’ (as if it were formed from Latin pōns ‘bridge’ – source of English pontoon – with the suffix fex …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • pontiff — (also sovereign or supreme pontiff) noun the Pope. Origin C17 (earlier (ME) as pontifical): from Fr. pontife, from L. pontifex (see pontifex) …   English new terms dictionary

  • pontiff — n 1. prelate, primate, archbishop, bishop, diocesan, suffragan, metropolitan, chief priest, high priest, (in ancient Rome) pontifex. 2.Rom. Cath. Ch. Bishop of Rome, Supreme Pontiff, pope, Holy Father, successor to Peter, his Holiness, vicar of… …   A Note on the Style of the synonym finder

  • pontiff — [17] In ancient Rome, members of the highest college of priests were known by the epithet pontifex. This looks as though it should mean ‘bridgemaker’ (as if it were formed from Latin pōns ‘bridge’ – source of English pontoon – with the suffix fex …   Word origins

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