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

  • n. A high-ranking member of the clergy, especially a bishop.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A clergyman of high rank and authority, having jurisdiction over an area or a group of people; normally a bishop.
  • v. To act as a prelate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A clergyman of a superior order, as an archbishop or a bishop, having authority over the lower clergy; a dignitary of the church.
  • intransitive v. To act as a prelate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To act as a prelate; perform the duties of a prelate.
  • n. An ecclesiastic of a higher order, having direct and not delegated authority over other ecclesiastics.

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

  • n. a senior clergyman and dignitary


Middle English prelat, from Old French, from Medieval Latin praelātus, from Latin, past participle of praeferre, to carry before, to prefer : prae-, pre- + lātus, brought; see telə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French prelat, from Medieval Latin praelatus, form past participle of praeferre ("to prefer"). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.