What does Cathedral mean?

Definitions for Cathedral
kəˈθi drəlCathe·dral

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word Cathedral.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. cathedralnoun

    any large and important church

  2. cathedral, duomoadjective

    the principal Christian church building of a bishop's diocese

  3. cathedraladjective

    relating to or containing or issuing from a bishop's office or throne

    "a cathedral church"


  1. cathedralnoun

    A big church building, central place for some area.

  2. cathedralnoun

    The principal church of a bishop's diocese which contains an episcopal throne.

  3. Etymology: From cathedral church, from ecclesia cathedralis, from καθέδρα, from κατά + ἕδρα.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Cathedraladjective

    Etymology: from cathedra, Lat. a chair of authority; an episcopal see.

    A cathedral church is that wherein there are two or more persons, with a bishop at the head of them, that do make as it were one body politick. John Ayliffe, Parergon.

    Methought I sat in seat of majesty,
    In the cathedral church of Westminster. William Shakespeare, Henry VI.

    His constant and regular assisting at the cathedral service was never interrupted by the sharpness of weather. John Locke.

    Here aged trees cathedral walks compose,
    And mount the hill in venerable rows;
    There the green infants in their beds are laid. Alexander Pope.

  2. Cathedralnoun

    The head church of a diocese.

    There is nothing in Leghorn so extraordinary as the cathedral, which a man may view with pleasure, after he has seen St. Peter’s. Joseph Addison, on Italy.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Cathedralnoun

    the principal church in a diocese, so called because in it the bishop has his official chair (Cathedra) or throne

  2. Cathedraladjective

    pertaining to the head church of a diocese; as, a cathedral church; cathedral service

  3. Cathedraladjective

    emanating from the chair of office, as of a pope or bishop; official; authoritative

  4. Cathedraladjective

    resembling the aisles of a cathedral; as, cathedral walks

  5. Etymology: [LL. cathedralis: cf. F. cathdral.]


  1. Cathedral

    A cathedral is a Christian church which contains the seat of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, conference, or episcopate. Although the word "cathedral" is sometimes loosely applied, churches with the function of "cathedral" occur specifically and only in those denominations with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, and some Lutheran and Methodist churches. In the Greek Orthodox Church, the terms kathedrikos naos is sometimes used for the church at which an archbishop or "metropolitan" presides. The term "metropolis" is used more commonly than "diocese" to signify an area of governance within the church. There are certain variations on the use of the term "cathedral"; for example, some pre-Reformation cathedrals in Scotland now within the Church of Scotland still retain the term cathedral, despite that church's Presbyterian polity that does not have bishops. The same occurs in Germany, where Protestant churches co-operate under an umbrella organisation, the Evangelical Church in Germany, with some retaining cathedrals or using the term as a merely honorary title and function, void of any hierarchical supremacy. As cathedrals are often particularly impressive edifices, the term "cathedral" is often applied colloquially to any large and impressive church, regardless of whether it functions as a cathedral, such as the Crystal Cathedral in California or figuratively to imply that a church is of outstanding beauty such as St John the Baptist, Tideswell, known as the "Cathedral of the Peak".

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Cathedral

    kath-ēd′ral, n. the principal church of a diocese, in which is the seat or throne of a bishop.—adj. belonging to a cathedral.—n. Cathed′ra, a bishop's seat, the episcopal dignity—ex cathedra, from the chair, officially given forth.—adjs. Cathedral′ic, Cathedralesque′, Cathed′raled, vaulted like a cathedral.—n. Cathed′ralism, the cathedral system.—adj. Cathedrat′ic, promulgated ex cathedra, authoritative. [L. cathedra—Gr. kathedra, a seat.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Cathedral

    the principal church in a diocese, and which contains the throne of the bishop as his seat of authority; is of a rank corresponding to the dignity of the bishop; the governing body consists of the dean and chapter.

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. cathedral

    [see bazaar for derivation] The ‘classical’ mode of software engineering long thought to be necessarily implied by Brooks's Law. Features small teams, tight project control, and long release intervals. This term came into use after analysis of the Linux experience suggested there might be something wrong (or at least incomplete) in the classical assumptions.

Suggested Resources

  1. cathedral

    Song lyrics by cathedral -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by cathedral on the Lyrics.com website.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Cathedral

    From the Greek kathedra, a seat--i.e. the chair of a bishop. See “City.”

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Cathedral' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3855

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Cathedral' in Nouns Frequency: #1485

How to pronounce Cathedral?

How to say Cathedral in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Cathedral in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Cathedral in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of Cathedral in a Sentence

  1. Joe Lieberman:

    Former President Barack Obama pays tribute to the late Sen. John McCain at Washingtons National Cathedral. thumbnailURL.

  2. Cathedral Village:

    As soon as we became aware of the alleged incident, we began an internal investigation and contacted the appropriate authorities, we want to reassure you that the safety and welfare of every resident at Cathedral Village remains our utmost priority and we will continue to make every effort to ensure their well-being. It would be inappropriate to comment further until the investigation is complete.

  3. John Miller:

    An individual walking into an iconic location like St. Patrick's Cathedral carrying over four gallons of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid and lighters, is something we would have grave concern over.

  4. Lisa Bitel:

    I think the challenge will be whether or not people who give the money agree with those who are doing the rebuilding about how the cathedral should be rebuilt, this is a national monument in France and they will not spare money to rebuild.

  5. Marcel Proust:

    A cathedral, a wave of storm, a dancer's leap, never turn out to be as high as we had hoped.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Cathedral

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    a socially awkward or tactless act
    • A. match
    • B. fancy
    • C. slip
    • D. ransom

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