[ kuh-thee-druh, kath-i- ]
/ kəˈθi drə, ˈkæθ ɪ- /

noun, plural ca·the·drae [kuh-thee-dree, kath-i-dree] /kəˈθi dri, ˈkæθ ɪˌdri/.

the seat or throne of a bishop in the principal church of a diocese.
an official chair, as of a professor in a university.
an ancient Roman chair used by women, having an inclined, curved back and curved legs flaring outward: the Roman copy of the Greek klismos.

Nearby words

  1. cathay,
  2. cathead,
  3. cathect,
  4. cathected,
  5. cathectic,
  6. cathedral,
  7. cathedral ceiling,
  8. cathedral glass,
  9. cathedral hull,
  10. cathepsin

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for cathedra

British Dictionary definitions for cathedra


/ (kəˈθiːdrə) /


a bishop's throne
the office or rank of a bishop

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