• synonyms


[kuh-thee-druh, kath-i-]
See more synonyms for cathedra on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural ca·the·drae [kuh-thee-dree, kath-i-dree] /kəˈθi dri, ˈkæθ ɪˌdri/.
  1. the seat or throne of a bishop in the principal church of a diocese.
  2. an official chair, as of a professor in a university.
  3. an ancient Roman chair used by women, having an inclined, curved back and curved legs flaring outward: the Roman copy of the Greek klismos.
Show More

Origin of cathedra

1625–35; < Latin < Greek kathédra, derivative of kathézomai to sit down; see cata-, sit1; cf. chair
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cathedra

Historical Examples

  • And hence, he says, matter is as it were the stool (cathedra) of the One.

    A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy

    Isaac Husik

  • Parts are translated in Greenwood, Cathedra Petri, iii., 364-371.

    The Rise of the Mediaeval Church

    Alexander Clarence Flick

  • It is not a cathedral; that is, it is not the "cathedra" of a bishop.

  • It is believed that this was the "Cathedra" of St. Wilfrid himself.

  • The cathedra, which was probably identical with the sella muliebris mentioned by Suetonius, was mostly used by women.

British Dictionary definitions for cathedra


  1. a bishop's throne
  2. the office or rank of a bishop
  3. See ex cathedra
Show More

Word Origin

from Latin: chair
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 cathedra


"seat of a bishop in his church," Latin, literally "chair" (see cathedral).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper