[ pon-tuh-feks ]
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noun,plural pon·tif·i·ces [pon-tif-uh-seez]. /pɒnˈtɪf əˌsiz/. Roman Religion.
  1. a member of the Pontifical College, which was presided over by a chief priest (Pontifex Maximus ).

Origin of pontifex

1570–80; <Latin: apparently literally, path-maker, equivalent to ponti- (stem of pōns) bridge, probably originally, path (see pons) + -fec- (combining form of facere to make) + -s nominative singular ending; the literal application is unclear

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British Dictionary definitions for pontifex


/ (ˈpɒntɪˌfɛks) /

nounplural pontifices (pɒnˈtɪfɪˌsiːz)
  1. (in ancient Rome) any of the senior members of the Pontifical College, presided over by the Pontifex Maximus

Origin of pontifex

C16: from Latin, perhaps from Etruscan but influenced by folk etymology as if meaning literally: bridge-maker, from pons bridge + -fex from facere to make

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