• synonyms


[kuh-thee-druh, kath-i-]
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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.
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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

Related Words for cathedra

bench, armchair, recliner, toilet, power, dignity, rank, seat, royalty, authority, chair, sovereignty, cathedra, sling, rocker

Examples from the Web for cathedra

Historical Examples of cathedra

  • 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
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Word Origin for cathedra

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper