a Roman Catholic.


Origin of papist

1515–25; earlier papista < New Latin. See pope, -ist
Related formspa·pist·like, adjectivepa·pist·ly, adverban·ti·pa·pist, noun, adjectivenon·pa·pist, nounpro·pa·pist, noun, adjective

Usage note

Papist and its derivatives such as papism date back to the Protestant Reformation. These and related terms such as popish and popery are still sometimes used by Protestants to show contempt for Roman Catholic practices and tenets. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for papist

Historical Examples of papist

  • You surely are not papist enough to think that means a minister is not to marry?

    Salted With Fire

    George MacDonald

  • I have said already that he was a papist only when it suited him.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • The Papist clergy say that the poverty of the country is due to English rule.

    Ireland as It Is

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

  • Do you think he's going to give over this country to a papist?

  • But surely, Orige, surely thou wouldst never have our own child a Papist?

    Clare Avery

    Emily Sarah Holt

British Dictionary definitions for papist


noun, adjective (often capital)

usually derogatory another term for Roman Catholic
Derived Formspapistical or papistic, adjectivepapistry, noun

Word Origin for papist

C16: from French papiste, from Church Latin pāpa pope 1
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 papist

1530s, "adherent of the pope," from Middle French papiste, from papa "pope," from Church Latin papa (see pope).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper