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[ahrch-bish-uh p]
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  1. a bishop of the highest rank who presides over an archbishopric or archdiocese.
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Origin of archbishop

before 900; Middle English; Old English arcebisceop (arce- arch-1 + bisceop bishop), modeled on Late Latin archiepiscopus < Greek archiepískopos; replacing Old English hēahbisceop (see high)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for archbishop

bishop, pastor, evangelist, cleric, pontiff, rabbi, preacher, priest, chaplain, missionary, vicar, confessor, curate, abbot, rector, dean, divine, ecclesiastic, prelate, lecturer

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British Dictionary definitions for archbishop


  1. a bishop of the highest rankAbbreviation: abp, Abp, Arch, Archbp
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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 archbishop


Old English ærcebiscop, from Late Latin archiepiscopus, from Greek arkhi- "chief" (see archon) + episkopos "bishop," literally "overseer." Replaced earlier Old English heah biscop (see bishop). The spelling conformed to Latin from 12c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper