- (of a church) having its own head or chief bishop, though in communion with other Orthodox churches.
- (of a bishop) subordinate to no superior authority; self-governing.
Origin of autocephalous
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for autocephalous
The Cretan Church is not, strictly speaking, autocephalous, being dependent on the patriarchate of Constantinople.
The Church of Cyprus has been autocephalous since at any rate the oecumenical synod of Ephesus in 431.
- (of an Eastern Christian Church) governed by its own national synods and appointing its own patriarchs or prelates
- (of a bishop) independent of any higher governing body
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