[pey-puh l]


of or relating to the pope or the papacy: a papal visit to Canada.
of or relating to the Roman Catholic Church.

Origin of papal

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Medieval Latin word pāpālis. See pope, -al1
Related formspa·pal·ly, adverban·ti·pa·pal, adjectivenon·pa·pal, adjectivepseu·do·pa·pal, adjectiveun·pa·pal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for papal

pontifical, apostolic

Examples from the Web for papal

Contemporary Examples of papal

Historical Examples of papal

  • He enjoys the privileges of a papal offspring, and there is no sanctuary he will respect.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

  • Now, Cesare, being a duke, resents a cousin's being a papal legate.

  • Matters were at this stage when Alexander VI ascended the papal throne.

  • The English people are waiting for their turn while Papal behests are executed.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • Britannia is the humble, obedient servant of Papal Hibernia.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

British Dictionary definitions for papal



of or relating to the pope or the papacy
Derived Formspapally, 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 papal

late 14c., from Old French papal (late 14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin papalis "pertaining to the pope," from papa (see pope).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper