Dictionary.com

pontifex

[ pon-tuh-feks ]
/ ˈpɒn təˌfɛks /
Save This Word!

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 ).
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use pontifex in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pontifex

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
FEEDBACK