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[vat-i-kuh n] /ˈvæt ɪ kən/
Also called Vatican Palace. the chief residence of the popes in Vatican City, now also including a library, archives, art museum, apartments, and administrative offices.
the authority and government of the pope (distinguished from the Quirinal).
Origin of Vatican
1545-55; < Latin vātīcānus (mōns) Vatican (hill)

Vatican II Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for Vatican


  1. the palace of the popes in Rome and their principal residence there since 1377, which includes administrative offices, a library, museum, etc, and is attached to the basilica of St Peter's
  2. (as modifier): the Vatican Council
  1. the authority of the Pope and the papal curia
  2. (as modifier): a Vatican edict
Word Origin
C16: from Latin Vāticānus mons Vatican hill, on the western bank of the Tiber, of Etruscan origin
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 Vatican

1550s, from Latin mons Vaticanus, Roman hill on which Papal palace stands. An Etruscan loan-word, not related to vates "sooth-sayer."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Vatican in Culture

Vatican II definition

The popular name for the Second Vatican Council, an assembly of all the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church held from 1962 to 1965. The bishops ordered a large-scale liberalization and modernization of practices in their church.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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