or ap·os·tol·i·cal

[ ap-uh-stol-ik or ap-uh-stol-i-kuh l ]
/ ˌæp əˈstɒl ɪk or ˌæp əˈstɒl ɪ kəl /


of or characteristic of an apostle.
pertaining to or characteristic of the 12 apostles.
derived from the apostles in regular succession.
of or relating to the pope; papal.

Origin of apostolic

1540–50; < Late Latin apostolicus < Greek apostolikós, equivalent to apóstol(os) apostle + -ikos -ic
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for apostolic


/ (ˌæpəˈstɒlɪk) /


of, relating to, deriving from, or contemporary with the Apostles
of or relating to the teachings or practice of the Apostles
of or relating to the pope regarded as chief successor of the Apostles
Derived Formsapostolical, adjectiveapostolically, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for apostolic



early 15c., from French apostolique or directly from Church Latin apostolicus, from Greek apostolikos, from apostolos (see apostle). Apostolical also is early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper