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See more synonyms for prelacy on Thesaurus.com
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.
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Origin of prelacy

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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for prelacy

Historical Examples

  • Prelacy, he knew, was but the King's choice for the nation: Presbytery was the nation's choice for itself.

    Andrew Melville

    William Morison

  • Nobody could deny that prelacy was established by Act of Parliament.

  • (prelacy beginning to advance in Scotland) he was, upon the 13th of October 1660.

  • Prelacy and Popery are both corrupt systems, though not equally.

  • This was for writing against Prelacy, not against Christianity.

    Biographia Epistolaris Volume 2

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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
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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