• WordNet 3.6
    • n episcopacy the collective body of bishops
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Episcopacy Government of the church by bishops; church government by three distinct orders of ministers -- bishops, priests, and deacons -- of whom the bishops have an authority superior and of a different kind.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n episcopacy Government of the church by bishops; that form of church government in which there are three distinct orders of ministers—bishops, priests or presbyters, and deacons. In episcopacy the order of bishops is superior to the other clergy, and has exclusive power to confer orders. Episcopacy is the organic system since early times of all the Oriental churches (Greek, Armenian, Coptic, etc.) and of the Roman Catholic Church, and also of the Anglican Church and its various branches. These churches teach that it is of apostolic origin and essential to the maintenance of valid orders. Government by bishops was continued in the Scandinavian churches (called Lutheran) in Denmark and Sweden, in the latter country apparently without interruption at the Reformation. The Moravian Church also claims an uninterrupted succession. The bishops of the Moravian and American Methodist Episcopal churches are itinerant, and have no special diocesan jurisdiction. The Mormons also have an officer called bishop. Maintainers of episcopacy hold that (whether the word bishop, ἐπισκοπος, episcopus, was for a time equivalent to presbyter or not) there was in apostolic times an order of presbyters superior in authority to ordinary presbyters, consisting of the twelve apostles, other apostles, and their colleagues, who transmitted so much of their authority as was to be used in continuing and governing the ministry to successors, called bishops after the first century, constituting an order which has continued till the present day.
    • n episcopacy The state of being a bishop; episcopal rank or office.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Episcopacy e-pis′ko-pas-i the government of the church by bishops: the office of a bishop: the period of office: the bishops, as a class
    • n Episcopacy one who belongs to the Episcopal Church
    • v.i Episcopacy (Milt.) to act as a bishop
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
See Episcopate


In literature:

He advocated the king's absolute power beyond the law and attempted to establish episcopacy in Scotland.
"The Cathedral Church of Canterbury [2nd ed.]." by Hartley Withers
He had nothing in its favour to say of Protestant Episcopacy, and as little of Romanism.
"John Deane of Nottingham" by W.H.G. Kingston
The same spirit of greed secured the retention of a nominal episcopacy.
"History of the English People, Volume V (of 8)" by John Richard Green
We were conducted to see St. Andrew, our oldest university, and the seat of our primate in the days of episcopacy.
"The World's Greatest Books, Volume 19" by Various
And they hated Catholicism and tyranny more than they did Episcopacy, in spite of their many persecutions.
"A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon" by John Lord
Publication of the National Covenant by the Scots; they declare Episcopacy abolished.
"The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 11" by Various
The Episcopacy was almost nominal.
"Chronicles of Strathearn" by Various
The name of Ignatius is inseparably connected with the championship of episcopacy.
"The Quarterly Review, Volume 162, No. 324, April, 1886" by Various
It is very different with Episcopacy in this country.
"Charles I" by Jacob Abbott
In 1641 he conducted his defence of ecclesiastical liberty, in a series of attacks upon episcopacy.
"Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 7 of 8"