[ prel-uh-see ]
/ ˈprɛl ə si /

noun, plural prel·a·cies.

the office or dignity of a prelate, or high-ranking member of the Christian clergy.
the order of prelates.
the body of prelates collectively.
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. 2019

Examples from the Web for prelacy

British Dictionary definitions for prelacy


/ (ˈprɛləsɪ) /

noun plural -cies

Also called: prelature (ˈprɛlɪtʃə)
  1. the office or status of a prelate
  2. prelates collectively
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