- of, relating to, or characteristic of a pontiff; papal.
- pompous, dogmatic, or pretentious: to resent someone's pontifical manner.
- (in the Western Church) a book containing the forms for the sacraments and other rites and ceremonies to be performed by bishops.
- pontificals, the vestments and other insignia of a pontiff, especially a bishop.
Origin of pontifical
Examples from the Web for pontificals
He was on that occasion mounted on horseback and arrayed in his pontificals.Curiosities of Christian History
Mass was performed by the cardinal-viceroy in his pontificals.History of The Reign of Philip The Second King of Spain
William H. Prescott
It cannot be supposed that he was much venerated in his pontificals in his native city.
June 15, 1568, the Pontificals printed in Dueas and Valladolid were ordered to be seized.A History of the Inquisition of Spain; vol. 3
Henry Charles Lea
When he arrived at the village of Mentana, he heard that the Pontificals were close by, and he waited to give them battle.The Liberation of Italy
Countess Evelyn Martinengo-Cesaresco
- mainly RC Church the insignia and special vestments worn by a bishop, esp when celebrating High Mass
- of, relating to, or characteristic of a pontiff, the pope, or a bishop
- having an excessively authoritative manner; pompous
- RC Church Church of England a book containing the prayers and ritual instructions for ceremonies restricted to a bishop
Word Origin and History for pontificals
early 15c., from Middle French pontifical and directly from Latin pontificalis "of or pertaining to the high priest," from pontifex (see pontifex). Hence pontificalia "trappings of a bishop."