[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.

Origin of cathedra

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

Examples from the Web for cathedra

Historical Examples of cathedra

British Dictionary definitions for cathedra


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

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper