[ pon-tuh-feks ]
/ ˈpɒn təˌfɛks /

noun, plural pon·tif·i·ces [pon-tif-uh-seez] /pɒnˈtɪf əˌsiz/. Roman Religion.

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 orig., 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) /

noun plural pontifices (pɒnˈtɪfɪˌsiːz)

(in ancient Rome) any of the senior members of the Pontifical College, presided over by the Pontifex Maximus

Word Origin for 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
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