A bishop is a religious authority figure in some Christian churches. In many churches, a bishop ordains, or appoints, ministers and priests.

In Christian traditions ranging from Roman Catholic to Lutheran, bishops play an important role in church oversight. In many orthodox and Catholic churches, bishops are believed to be the successors to the original twelve apostles from the Bible’s New Testament. The chess piece called the bishop comes from this religious figure, and the word itself comes from the Greek episkopos, “watcher or overseer.”

Definitions of bishop
  1. noun

    a senior member of the Christian clergy having spiritual and administrative authority; appointed in Christian churches to oversee priests or ministers; considered in some churches to be successors of the twelve Apostles of Christ

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    Saint Ambrose

    (Roman Catholic Church) Roman priest who became bishop of Milan; the first Church Father born and raised in the Christian faith; composer of hymns; imposed orthodoxy on the early Christian church and built up its secular power; a saint and Doctor of the Church (340?-397)
    Bishop Berkeley

    Irish philosopher and Anglican bishop who opposed the materialism of Thomas Hobbes (1685-1753)
    Eusebius of Caesarea

    Christian bishop of Caesarea in Palestine; a church historian and a leading early Christian exegete (circa 270-340)
    Saint Ignatius

    bishop of Antioch who was martyred under the Roman Emperor Trajan (died 110)
    St. Martin

    French bishop who is a patron saint of France (died in 397)
    Saint Nicholas

    a bishop in Asia Minor who is associated with Santa Claus (4th century)
    Bishop Ulfilas

    a Christian believed to be of Cappadocian descent who became bishop of the Visigoths in 341 and translated the Bible from Greek into Gothic; traditionally held to have invented the Gothic alphabet (311-382)
    Saint Anselm

    an Italian who was a Benedictine monk; was archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109; one of the founders of scholasticism; best known for his proof of the existence of God
    Saint Thomas a Becket

    (Roman Catholic Church) archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 to 1170; murdered following his opposition to Henry II’s attempts to control the clergy (1118-1170)
    Roberto Francesco Romolo Bellarmine

    Italian cardinal and theologian (1542-1621)
    Cesare Borgia

    Italian cardinal and military leader; model for Machiavelli’s prince (1475-1507)

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    a bishop of highest rank

    (Roman Catholic Church) one of a group of more than 100 prominent bishops in the Sacred College who advise the Pope and elect new Popes

    a bishop having jurisdiction over a diocese

    a bishop or metropolitan in charge of an eparchy in the Eastern Church

    a bishop in eastern Christendom who holds a place below a patriarch but above a metropolitan

    a bishop in one of several Eastern Orthodox Churches in North America

    the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church of Scotland
    suffragan, suffragan bishop

    an assistant or subordinate bishop of a diocese
    vicar apostolic

    a titular Roman Catholic bishop in a non-Catholic area

    (Roman Catholic Church) the head of the College of Cardinals

    in the Eastern Orthodox Church this title is given to a position between bishop and patriarch; equivalent to archbishop in western Christianity
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    a clergyman in Christian churches who has the authority to perform or administer various religious rites; one of the Holy Orders

  2. noun

    (chess) a piece that can be moved diagonally over unoccupied squares of the same color

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    chess piece, chessman

    any of 16 white and 16 black pieces used in playing the game of chess

  3. noun

    port wine mulled with oranges and cloves

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    mulled wine

    wine heated with sugar and spices and often citrus fruit

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