pontiff
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /ˈpɒntɪf/
Noun

pontiff (plural pontiffs)

  1. A bishop of the early Church; now specifically, the Pope. [from 16th c.]
    • 2007, Edwin Mullins, The Popes of Avignon, Blue Bridge 2008, p. 46:
      In several respects John turned out to be an unexpected figure as supreme pontiff.
  2. (figuratively) Any chief figure or leader of a religion. [from 16th c.]
  3. (historical) A pontifex. [from 17th c.]
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