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[poo l-pit, puhl-] /ˈpʊl pɪt, ˈpʌl-/
a platform or raised structure in a church, from which the sermon is delivered or the service is conducted.
the pulpit.
  1. the clerical profession; the ministry.
  2. members of the clergy collectively:
    In attendance were representatives of medicine, the pulpit, and the bar.
(especially in Protestantism and Judaism) the position of pastor or rabbi:
He heard of a pulpit in Chicago that was about to be vacated.
  1. a safety rail rising about 18 to 30 inches (48 to 76 cm) from the deck near the bow and extending around it.
  2. a similar rail at the stern.
a control booth in a factory, usually elevated and glass-enclosed, from which an operator can observe and direct the manufacturing process.
Origin of pulpit
1300-50; Middle English < Late Latin pulpitum pulpit, Latin: platform, stage
Related forms
pulpital, adjective
pulpitless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pulpit
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was a large platform, with chairs upon it, but no pulpit or reading-desk.

    Life in London Edwin Hodder
  • Having ascended the pulpit, Father Massias did not at once speak.

  • The idea of Turkey wagging his head in a pulpit made me laugh.

    Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood George MacDonald
  • And yet this old man in the pulpit called it a place where you went to rest!

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • Then I should never have had to encounter the damnable snares of the pulpit!

    Salted With Fire George MacDonald
British Dictionary definitions for pulpit


a raised platform, usually surrounded by a barrier, set up in churches as the appointed place for preaching, leading in prayer, etc
any similar raised structure, such as a lectern
a medium for expressing an opinion, such as a column in a newspaper
the pulpit
  1. the preaching of the Christian message
  2. the clergy or their message and influence
Word Origin
C14: from Latin pulpitum a platform
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pulpit

early 14c., from Late Latin pulpitum "raised structure on which preachers stand," in classical Latin "scaffold; stage, platform for actors," of unknown origin. Also borrowed in Middle High German as pulpit (German Pult "desk"). Sense of "Christian preachers and ministers generally" is from 1560s. Pulpiteer, old contemptuous term for "professional preacher," is recorded from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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