cathedral

[kuh-thee-druh l]

noun

the principal church of a diocese, containing the bishop's throne.
(in nonepiscopal denominations) any of various important churches.

adjective

pertaining to or containing a bishop's throne.
pertaining to or emanating from a chair of office or authority.

Nearby words

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

Origin of cathedral

1250–1300; Middle English < Late Latin cathedrālis (ecclesia) a cathedral (church). See cathedra, -al1

Related formsca·the·dral·like, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cathedral


British Dictionary definitions for cathedral

cathedral

noun

  1. the principal church of a diocese, containing the bishop's official throne
  2. (as modifier)a cathedral city; cathedral clergy

Word Origin for cathedral

C13: from Late Latin (ecclesia) cathedrālis cathedral (church), from cathedra bishop's throne, from Greek kathedra seat

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 cathedral

cathedral

n.

1580s, "church of a bishop," from phrase cathedral church (c.1300), partially translating Late Latin ecclesia cathedralis "church of a bishop's seat," from Latin cathedra "an easy chair (principally used by ladies)," also metonymically, e.g. cathedrae molles "luxurious women;" also "a professor's chair;" from Greek kathedra "seat, bench," from kata "down" (see cata-) + hedra "seat, base, chair, face of a geometric solid," from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit" (see sedentary).

It was born an adjective, and attempts to cobble further adjectivization onto it in 17c. yielded cathedraical (1670s), cathedratic (1660s), cathedratical (1660s), after which the effort seems to have been given up.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for cathedral

cathedral

A Christian church building in which a bishop has his official seat (cathedra is Latin for “chair”). A cathedral is usually large and imposing, and many cathedrals are important in the history of architecture. (See Chartres, Notre Dame de Paris, and Saint Paul's Cathedral.)

A church building in which a Christian bishop has his official seat; cathedra is Latin for “chair.” Cathedrals are usually large and imposing, and many have been important in the development of architecture. The building of a cathedral, especially in the Middle Ages, was a project in which the entire town took part. (See Chartres; Notre Dame de Paris; and Saint Paul's Cathedral.)

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.