Definition of apostolate in English:



  • 1(chiefly in Roman Catholic contexts) the position or authority of an apostle or a religious leader.

    • ‘I suspect his bishop will still not be terribly happy to have him claiming to be a Catholic apostolate.’
    1. 1.1A group of apostles or religious leaders.
      ‘the male-only apostolate’
      • ‘These were the recognition of global diversity within the church, religious ecumenism, an emphasis on lay apostolates, and the re-definition of the relation between the Church and non-Christian religions.’
      • ‘But laypersons should not hesitate to involve themselves in the intellectual apostolate.’
      • ‘It is in this diversity that the Society is able to accomplish its work in schools, in parishes, in retreat houses, and in countless other apostolates: it leads not to degeneration but to generation.’
      • ‘The first Chapter to be established was in Albany, New York, where those who helped him in the earlier days of his apostolate have banded together to promote his Cause for Canonisation.’
      • ‘New structures will have to be created because apostolates that rely primarily on the charisms of individuals will necessarily die with the individual.’
      • ‘Nicholas of Lyra had allowed that Judas may have been good when he was first called to the apostolate.’
      • ‘Well, we have to come out of here with a very clear, strong statement that we will take every step possible to make sure that children and young people are safe in all the church's ministries and apostolates.’
      • ‘Priests and seminarians who are 50 years of age or younger, in good health, physically fit, and are willing to serve in this missionary apostolate are encouraged to look into becoming an Army chaplain.’
    2. 1.2Religious or evangelistic activity or works.
      ‘our apostolate of hospitality to the elderly’
      • ‘Much the same as Pius X, he spurred on the laity through the apostolate of Catholic Action, which he had reorganized in 1923 and purged of party intrigue.’
      • ‘During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, project after project attempting to set on foot a crusade was made, and we refer to them merely to point out that the spirit of a militant apostolate continued to ferment in the soul of France.’
      • ‘In 1981 he returned to Khon Kaen and was entrusted with the apostolate for leprosy patients and their families.’
      • ‘A priest gifted for catechetics and communication with children from eleven to fourteen could carry on that apostolate by correspondence.’
      • ‘They work, attend the day's eight choral prayer services and receive guests; there is no other apostolate in their way of life, which is devoted entirely to the love and worship of God.’
      • ‘Over 150 people have committed themselves to this worthy apostolate, which was launched at 7.30 Mass on Thursday evening.’
      • ‘How, exactly does pursuit of the moral virtue of justice integrate or expand the intellectual virtues pursued in the academy, specifically the traditional Jesuit apostolate in education?’
      • ‘However, for some people sports is the closest thing to religion they have, so it makes sense to me that Rome would explore an apostolate there.’
      • ‘I'm really grateful to all you folks who answered my bleat about financial support for Catholic apostolates yesterday!’
      • ‘He praises the prelates who repeatedly call him in to question his apostolate of presence.’



/əˈpästəˌlāt/ /əˈpɑstəˌleɪt/ /əˈpästələt/ /əˈpɑstələt/


Late Middle English from ecclesiastical Latin apostolatus, from apostulus (see apostle).