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

  • n. The office or term of office of a pontiff.
  • intransitive v. To express opinions or judgments in a dogmatic way.
  • intransitive v. To administer the office of a pontiff.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state or term of office of a pontiff or pontifex.
  • v. To preside as a bishop, especially at mass.
  • v. To act like a pontiff; to express one’s position or opinions dogmatically and pompously as if they were absolutely correct.
  • v. To speak in a patronizing, supercilious or pompous manner, especially at length.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state or dignity of a high priest; specifically, the office of the pope.
  • n. The term of office of a pontiff.
  • intransitive v. To perform the duty of a pontiff.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To act officially as pontiff or bishop; especially, to say pontifical mass.
  • n. The office or dignity of a pontiff, high priest, or pope.
  • n. The time during which a pontifical office is held by any given incumbent.

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

  • v. talk in a dogmatic and pompous manner
  • v. administer a pontifical office
  • n. the government of the Roman Catholic Church


Latin pontificātus, from pontifex, pontific-, pontifex; see pontifex. V., from Medieval Latin pontificāre, pontificāt-, to act as an ecclesiastic, from Latin pontifex.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin pontificatus, from pontifex ("high priest"), from pons ("bridge") + facere ("make"). (Wiktionary)
From the past participle stem of mediaeval Latin pontificare ("pontificate"), from Latin pontifex ("high priest"), from pons ("bridge") + facere ("make"). (Wiktionary)


  • "Today as the conclave announces its decision, the offering of prayers for this new pontificate is the most appropriate response from other Christian leaders," the Rev. John H. Thomas, UCC general minister and president, said in a written statement to United Church News.


  • The excess space they give you to iterate and re-iterate, describe, and have characters reflect and pontificate is nothing less than sheer luxury. on 08 Jul 2008 at 12: 33 pm Therese Walsh

    Writer Unboxed » Blog Archive » Killing Darlings

  • One of the fascinating things about Pope Benedict's pontificate is how he has consistently and continually appealed to reason and to man's ability to think, know, and understand.

    Must read: Benedict XVI's reflection on 2008...

  • In short, Mr. Outside has been succeeded by Mr. Inside; and the story of Ratzinger's emergence as the Church's leader reveals the ways in which his pontificate is likely to affect the Church as a whole.

    The Year of two Popes

  • The problem with the blogosphere and and you lot that sit back and pontificate is that a keyboard and mouse have made you an expert.

    Weenie of the Week #30 for 2006

  • Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali said, This pontificate is totally new. - New pontiff stresses unity, youth, dialogue

  • He saw that the chief priest was unlikely to recover, calculated the odds, and decided the pontificate was a much better bet than either.


  • And I really do think the characteristic of his pontificate will be a clarity and depth at articulating the inner meaning of the faith as an articulation of the truth of the love that's revealed in Jesus Christ.

    CNN Transcript Apr 24, 2005

  • One of the most remarkable successes of his pontificate was the restoration of the Pontifical States, secured at the Congress of

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • The central idea of his pontificate was the liberation of Europe from

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss


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  • speak bombastically

    March 25, 2013

  • "I think they might reconsider it given the fun and knowledge gained by the the logophiles and verbivores visiting sites like this one."

    A nice example of pontification from everybody's (everybodie's? no…) favourite pompous old git. Notice the delightful way in which the writer assumes his readership to be, oh I don't know, about 50 years younger than he is, and the beautifully old-fashioned "for fun and profit" tone.

    September 9, 2008

  • Watch it, you guys, or we may have to depontificate you. ;-)

    January 18, 2008

  • Blahblahblahblahblah.

    January 18, 2008

  • pontifi-kate; pontifi-ket.

    November 22, 2007