of, relating to, or characteristic of a pontiff; papal.
pompous, dogmatic, or pretentious: to resent someone's pontifical manner.
(in the Western Church) a book containing the forms for the sacraments and other rites and ceremonies to be performed by bishops.
pontificals, the vestments and other insignia of a pontiff, especially a bishop.
- pon·tif·i·cal·ly, adverb
- un·pon·tif·i·cal, adjective
- un·pon·tif·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use pontifical in a sentence
German Hans Zollner leads the Centre for Child Protection at the Institute of Psychology of the pontifical Gregorian University.
Bishop Sánchez is the chancellor of the pontifical Academy of Sciences.
Kicking off the weeklong celebrations, the pope seemed to welcome the security challenge as part and parcel of pontifical work.How Do You Protect a Pope Who Doesn’t Want to Be Protected? | Barbie Latza Nadeau | July 24, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
As a young seminarian, he studied in Washington, D.C., and at the pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
After the cardinal audience and a celebratory lunch, the pope will prepare to leave the pontifical apartments.Pope Benedict XVI Bids Farewell to Faithful and Critics | Barbie Latza Nadeau | February 27, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
They built others in other cities; but still they had a horror of tapers, lustral water, pontifical habits, etc.A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 1 (of 10) | Franois-Marie Arouet (AKA Voltaire)
Meanwhile, the cardinal had passed behind the altar to put on his pontifical robes; soon he reappeared with the holy vial.Chicot the Jester | Alexandre Dumas, Pere
First, there is the "atheist formula" of 'art for the sake of art';—a heresy he scourged with pontifical anathemas.The Life of Mazzini | Bolton King
The highest religious officer of the state, the pontifex maximus, was from this time on elected by the pontifical College.The Two Great Republics: Rome and the United States | James Hamilton Lewis
Mr. Wilmot waved a pontifical good-bye and vanished in the direction of Kensington.Sinister Street, vol. 1 | Compton Mackenzie
British Dictionary definitions for pontifical
of, relating to, or characteristic of a pontiff, the pope, or a bishop
having an excessively authoritative manner; pompous
RC Church Church of England a book containing the prayers and ritual instructions for ceremonies restricted to a bishop
- See also pontificals
- pontifically, adverb
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