- the office or term of office of a pontiff.
- to perform the office or duties of a pontiff.
- to speak in a pompous or dogmatic manner: Did he pontificate about the responsibilities of a good citizen?
- to serve as a bishop, especially in a Pontifical Mass.
Origin of pontificate
- to speak or behave in a pompous or dogmatic mannerAlso (less commonly): pontify (ˈpɒntɪˌfaɪ)
- to serve or officiate as a pontiff, esp in celebrating a Pontifical Mass
- the office or term of office of a pontiff, now usually the pope
Word Origin and History for pontificator
1818, "to act as a pontiff," from Medieval Latin pontificatus, past participle of pontificare "to be a pontifex," from Latin pontifex (see pontiff). Meaning "to assume pompous and dignified airs, issue dogmatic decrees" is from 1825. Meaning "to say (something) in a pontifical way" is from 1922. Related: Pontificated; pontificating.
1580s, from Latin pontificatus "office of a pontiff," from pontifex (see pontifex).