noun, plural e·pis·co·pa·cies.

government of the church by bishops; church government in which there are three distinct orders of ministers, namely bishops, priests or presbyters, and deacons.

Origin of episcopacy

First recorded in 1640–50; episcop(ate) + -acy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for episcopacy

see, diocese, episcopate

Examples from the Web for episcopacy

Historical Examples of episcopacy

British Dictionary definitions for episcopacy


noun plural -cies

government of a Church by bishops
another word for episcopate
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 episcopacy

1640s; see episcopal + -cy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper