[ ih-pis-kuh-puh l ]
/ ɪˈpɪs kə pəl /


of or relating to a bishop: episcopal authority.
based on or recognizing a governing order of bishops: an episcopal hierarchy.
(initial capital letter) designating the Anglican Church or some branch of it, as the Episcopal Church in America.


(initial capital letter) Informal. an Episcopalian.

Nearby words

  1. episcleral artery,
  2. episcleral space,
  3. episcleral vein,
  4. episcleritis,
  5. episcopacy,
  6. episcopal church,
  7. episcopal church in america,
  8. episcopal vicar,
  9. episcopalian,
  10. episcopalism

Origin of episcopal

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English word from Late Latin word episcopālis. See bishop, -al1

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

Examples from the Web for episcopal

British Dictionary definitions for episcopal


/ (ɪˈpɪskəpəl) /


of, denoting, governed by, or relating to a bishop or bishops
Derived Formsepiscopally, adverb

Word Origin for episcopal

C15: from Church Latin episcopālis, from episcopus bishop


/ (ɪˈpɪskəpəl) /


belonging to or denoting the Episcopal Church
Derived FormsEpiscopally, adverb

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 episcopal



mid-15c., from Middle French épiscopal (14c.), from Late Latin episcopalis, from Latin episcopus "an overseer" (see bishop). Reference to a church governed by bishops is 1752. With a capital E-, the ordinary designation of the Anglican church in the U.S. and Scotland.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper