[ bish-uhp ]
/ ˈbɪʃ əp /
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a person who supervises a number of local churches or a diocese, being in the Greek, Roman Catholic, Anglican, and other churches a member of the highest order of the ministry.
a spiritual supervisor, overseer, or the like.
Chess. one of two pieces of the same color that may be moved any unobstructed distance diagonally, one on white squares and the other on black.
a hot drink made of port wine, oranges, cloves, etc.
Also called bishop bird . any of several colorful African weaverbirds of the genus Euplectes, often kept as pets.
verb (used with object), bish·oped, bish·op·ing.
to appoint to the office of bishop.
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of bishop

before 900; Middle English; Old English bisc(e)op<Vulgar Latin *ebiscopus, for Late Latin episcopus<Greek epískopos overseer, equivalent to epi-epi- + skopós watcher; see scope


bish·op·less, adjectivebish·op·like, adjectiveun·der·bish·op, noun

Other definitions for bishop (2 of 2)

[ bish-uhp ]
/ ˈbɪʃ əp /

Elizabeth, 1911–79, U.S. poet.
Hazel Gladys, 1906–1998, U.S. chemist and businesswoman.
John Peale, 1892–1944, U.S. poet and essayist.
Morris (Gilbert), 1893–1973, U.S. humorist, poet, and biographer.
William Avery "Billy", 1894–1956, Canadian aviator: helped to establish Canadian air force.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use bishop in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bishop (1 of 2)

/ (ˈbɪʃəp) /

(in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Greek Orthodox Churches) a clergyman having spiritual and administrative powers over a diocese or province of the ChurchSee also suffragan Related adjective: episcopal
(in some Protestant Churches) a spiritual overseer of a local church or a number of churches
a chesspiece, capable of moving diagonally over any number of unoccupied squares of the same colour
mulled wine, usually port, spiced with oranges, cloves, etc

Word Origin for bishop

Old English biscop, from Late Latin epīscopus, from Greek episkopos, from epi- + skopos watcher

British Dictionary definitions for bishop (2 of 2)

/ (ˈbɪʃəp) /

Elizabeth . 1911–79, US poet, who lived in Brazil. Her poetry reflects her travelling experience, esp in the tropics
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

Medical definitions for bishop

[ bĭshəp ]
J. Michael Born 1936

American microbiologist. He shared a 1989 Nobel Prize for discovering a sequence of genes that can cause cancer when mutated.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for bishop

[ bĭshəp ]
(John) Michael Born 1936

American molecular biologist who, working with Harold Varmus, discovered oncogenes. For this work, Bishop and Varmus shared the 1989 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for bishop


In some Christian churches, a person appointed to oversee a group of priests or ministers and their congregations. In the Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Roman Catholic Church, bishops are considered the successors of the Twelve Apostles.

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