- the office or term of office of a pontiff.
- to perform the office or duties of a pontiff.
- to speak in a pompous or dogmatic manner: Did he pontificate about the responsibilities of a good citizen?
- to serve as a bishop, especially in a Pontifical Mass.
Origin of pontificate
Examples from the Web for pontificate
Benedict may well want to cut short the time available for the cardinals to politick, posture, and pontificate, as it were.With Pope Benedict XVI’s Retirement, Conclave Rules Prove Unclear
February 12, 2013
But it was not so with that pontificate on which the Church was built.The Formation of Christendom, Volume VI
Thomas W. (Thomas William) Allies
He died in 604, after a pontificate of thirteen years and six months.Italy, the Magic Land
The Cardinal was an early riser, and was to pontificate at high mass in the Lateran.Stradella
F(rancis) Marion Crawford
Given at Lyons, on the 3rd of July, in the fifth year of our Pontificate.Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore, Volume I
Sir Moses Montefiore
He died on the 27th day of his pontificate, and was succeeded by Paul V.
- to speak or behave in a pompous or dogmatic mannerAlso (less commonly): pontify (ˈpɒntɪˌfaɪ)
- to serve or officiate as a pontiff, esp in celebrating a Pontifical Mass
- the office or term of office of a pontiff, now usually the pope
Word Origin and History for pontificate
1818, "to act as a pontiff," from Medieval Latin pontificatus, past participle of pontificare "to be a pontifex," from Latin pontifex (see pontiff). Meaning "to assume pompous and dignified airs, issue dogmatic decrees" is from 1825. Meaning "to say (something) in a pontifical way" is from 1922. Related: Pontificated; pontificating.
1580s, from Latin pontificatus "office of a pontiff," from pontifex (see pontifex).