Definition of "suffragan" [suf•fra•gan]

  • A bishop elected or appointed as an assistant to the bishop or ordinary of a diocese, having administrative and episcopal responsibilities but no jurisdictional functions. (noun)
  • A bishop regarded in position as subordinate to an archbishop or a metropolitan. (noun)
  • Of, being, or relating to a suffragan. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "suffragan" in a sentence
  • "The bishops in the province are called suffragan bishops, because subject in some things to the authority of the archbishop, who is also called the metropolitan, because bishop of a metropolis or chief city of the province over which he presides."
  • "Occasionally there have been two assistants of the vicar, to one of whom were committed all matters of jurisdiction, to the other the pontificalia and ordinations; the latter was known as suffragan of the vicar."
  • "Finally, and this may help Mother Glasspool but I doubt it, she has been elected a bishop suffragan, which is basically an "assistant bishop," whereas Bishop Robinson was elected the bishop of his diocese."