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noun, plural prel·a·cies.
  1. the office or dignity of a prelate, or high-ranking member of the Christian clergy.
  2. the order of prelates.
  3. the body of prelates collectively.
  4. Sometimes Disparaging. the system of church government by prelates.

Origin of prelacy

1275–1325; Middle English prelacie < Anglo-French < Medieval Latin praelātia. See prelate, -y3 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for prelacy

Historical Examples of prelacy

British Dictionary definitions for prelacy


noun plural -cies
  1. Also called: prelature (ˈprɛlɪtʃə)
    1. the office or status of a prelate
    2. prelates collectively
  2. Also called: prelatism (ˈprɛləˌtɪzəm) often derogatory government of the Church by prelates
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