noun, plural pon·tif·i·ces [pon-tif-uh-seez] /pɒnˈtɪf əˌsiz/. Roman Religion.
Origin of pontifex
Examples from the Web for pontifex
And this brings us to the second generation of the Pontifex family with whom we need concern ourselves.The Way of All Flesh|Samuel Butler
Like Pontifex, he seemed but little concerned, either with the cheers of his friends or the few howls of his mutinous juniors.Follow My leader|Talbot Baines Reed
It was the residence of the Pontifex Maximus, or chief priest, down to the time of Augustus.Rambles in Rome|S. Russell Forbes
The chief of the pontifices, the Pontifex Maximus, was at the head of the college.Quintus Claudius, Volume 2 of 2|Ernst Eckstein
Upon one an inscription was placed which tersely expressed the true state of the case: "Pontifex Colinii necem probat."History of the Rise of the Huguenots|Henry Baird
British Dictionary definitions for pontifex
noun plural pontifices (pɒnˈtɪfɪˌsiːz)
Word Origin for pontifex
Word Origin and History for pontifex
member of the supreme college of priests in ancient Rome, 1570s, from Latin pontifex "high priest, chief of the priests," probably from pont-, stem of pons "bridge" (see pons) + -fex, -ficis, root of facere "make" (see factitious). If so, the word originally meant "bridge-maker," or "path-maker."
Weekley points out that, "bridge-building has always been regarded as a pious work of divine inspiration." Or the term may be metaphoric of bridging the earthly world and the realm of the gods. Other suggestions trace it to Oscan-Umbrian puntis "propitiary offering," or to a lost Etruscan word, in either case altered by folk etymology to resemble the Latin for "bridge-maker." In Old English, pontifex is glossed in the Durham Ritual (Old Northumbrian dialect) as brycgwyrcende "bridge-maker."