- 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 pontificates
Buddy rambles, digresses, pontificates, and fails completely to make Seymour Glass seem a believable human being.What We Really Know about J.D. Salinger
September 9, 2013
This is the principle of that divine series of frescoes, with which under the pontificates of Julius II.
In Rome this custom prevailed, at least since the pontificates of Xystus and Telesphorus (about 120).English Conferences of Ernest Renan
The bas-reliefs represent historical subjects of the two pontificates.Rambles in Rome
S. Russell Forbes
In all he worked under the pontificates of seven different popes.
- 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 pontificates
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).