autocephalous(redirected from autocephalic)
Having a head bishop who is not responsible to any higher-ranking ecclesiastical authority. Used of churches in the Eastern Orthodox communion.
[From Byzantine Greek autokephalos : auto-, auto- + kephalos, head; see ghebh-el- in Indo-European roots.]
au′to·ceph′a·ly (-lē) n.
1. (Eastern Church (Greek & Russian Orthodox)) (of an Eastern Christian Church) governed by its own national synods and appointing its own patriarchs or prelates
2. (Ecclesiastical Terms) (of a bishop) independent of any higher governing body
au•to•ceph•a•lous(ˌɔ təˈsɛf ə ləs)
1. (of an Eastern church) having its own head bishop, though in communion with other Orthodox churches.
2. (of an Eastern bishop) subordinate to no superior authority.
[1860–65; < Late Greek autoképhalos having its own head]