pontificate n : the government of the Roman Catholic Church [syn: papacy]
1 administer a pontifical office
2 talk in a dogmatic and pompous manner; "The new professor always pontificates"
Etymology 1From Latin pontificatus, from pontifex, literally ‘bridge-builder’, from pons ‘bridge’ + facere ‘make’.
Etymology 2From the past participle stem of mediaeval Latin pontificare ‘pontificate’, from Latin pontifex, literally ‘bridge-builder’, from pons ‘bridge’ + facere ‘make’.
Quotations* 2007, New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/13/us/politics/13bill.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&hp
- During a policy discussion awhile back about New York issues, when Mr. Clinton began to pontificate, she told him that he did not exactly know what he was talking about and to hush up.
Translationsto preside as a bishop (1)
- French: pontifier
- French: pontifier
- French: pontifier
- Form of Second-person plural imperative, pontificare#Italian|pontificare
Pontiff or Pontificate was a title of certain religious leaders, now used principally to refer to the Pope.
EtymologyThe term derives from the French word pontife, from the Latin pontifex, a title used for high priests of the Roman Empire. The word pontifex is commonly held to derive from the Latin root words pons, "bridge" + facere, "to do" or "to make", with a literal meaning of "bridge-builder". This, however, is disputed - it may be only a folk etymology. See Pontifex Maximus for more details on the original Roman term.
Usage in the Catholic ChurchPontiffs were originally simply chiefs or high priests of any religion; thus writers from the 16th through to the 18th centuries referred equally to Christian pontiffs (bishops) and "Mahometan [Muslim] Pontiffs" (caliphs) or Swami ( Hindu ). Over time, however, the term became associated with the highest religious authority in the Catholic Church — the Pope. It is often modified by an adjective - for instance, "Supreme Pontiff", "Sovereign Pontiff", "Roman Pontiff" - to distinguish the Pope from "ordinary" pontiffs.
In the modern era, the modifying adjective is usually dropped, with the term being used exclusively to refer to the Pope, as in "The Pope visited Cuba in 1998, the first visit by a reigning pontiff to the island."
pontificate in Bulgarian: Понтифекс
pontificate in German: Pontifex
pontificate in Spanish: Pontífice
pontificate in French: Pontife
pontificate in Latin: Pontifex
pontificate in Dutch: Pontifex
pontificate in Polish: Pontyfikat
pontificate in Finnish: Pontifikaatti
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