from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A diocese of an Eastern Orthodox Church.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. one of the districts of the Roman Empire at the third echelon
  • n. one of the administrative sub-provincial units of post-Ottoman independent Greece
  • n. in pre-schism Christian Church, name for a province under the supervision of the metropolitan
  • n. in Eastern Christendom, diocese of a bishop

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A province, prefecture, or territory, under the jurisdiction of an eparch or governor; esp., in modern Greece, one of the larger subdivisions of a monarchy or province of the kingdom; in Russia, a diocese or archdiocese.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In ancient Greece, a province, prefecture, or territory under the jurisdiction of an eparch or governor; in modern Greece, a subdivision of a nomarchy or province, itself divided into demes, corresponding to the arrondissements and communes of France.
  • n. In the early church and in the Gr. Ch., an ecclesiastical division answering to the civil province.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a diocese of the Eastern Orthodox Church
  • n. a province in ancient Greece


Greek eparkhiā, provincial government, from eparkhein, to rule over : ep-, epi-, epi- + arkhein, to rule.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἐπαρχία (eparkhía). (Wiktionary)



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  • An eparchy is not only a diocese of an Eastern Orthodox Church. It is also a diocese in any of the Twenty-One Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Pope. The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches defines eparchy as follows:
    "An eparchy is a portion of the people of God which is entrusted for pastoral care to a bishop (eparch) with the cooperation of the presbyterate so that, adhering to its pastor and gathered by him in the Holy Spirit through the Gospel and the Eucharist, it constitutes a particular church in which the one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ is truly present and operative (Canon 177 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches)."

    The term eparchy was employed in Byzantine Law to designate a subdivision of a civil diocese. Just as the terms province and diocese came to be employed in ecclesiastical administration in the Catholic Church, so too was the term eparchy adopted by the Church.

    December 21, 2009