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1. Relating to, characteristic of, or suitable for a pontiff.
2. Pompously dogmatic or self-important; pretentious.
1. pontificals The vestments and insignia of a bishop.
2. A book of forms for ceremonies performed by a bishop.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pontificālis, of a pontifex, from pontifex, pontific-, pontifex; see pontifex.]

pon·tif′i·cal·ly adv.


pl n
(Roman Catholic Church) chiefly RC Church the insignia and special vestments worn by a bishop, esp when celebrating High Mass
References in classic literature ?
Countless are they who, born of mean parentage, have risen to the highest dignities, pontifical and imperial, and of the truth of this I could give thee instances enough to weary thee.
Claude assumed the majestic and pontifical attitude of a Samuel.
"I beg pardon--Ladies, Gentlemen, and Children--I must apologize, I had inadvertently omitted a considerable section of this audience" (tumult, during which the Professor stood with one hand raised and his enormous head nodding sympathetically, as if he were bestowing a pontifical blessing upon the crowd), "I have been selected to move a vote of thanks to Mr.