Definition of suffragan in English:


See synonyms for suffragan on

Translate suffragan into Spanish


(also suffragan bishop)
  • 1A bishop appointed to help a diocesan bishop.

    ‘Ealdred became suffragan to Lyfing of Worcester’
    • ‘All 44 diocesan bishops and 10 suffragans were asked to attend the meeting to discuss October's Windsor Report, a document produced to examine the crisis.’
    • ‘The archbishops, 42 diocesan bishops and 69 suffragan or full-time assistant bishops cost the church a grand total of £14.3m during 2003, the figures show.’
    • ‘She was the first woman to rise to the position of suffragan, or assistant, bishop at the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts - a position previously reserved for men.’
    • ‘Asser lovingly records the many gifts he received from Alfred, and he may have been created a suffragan bishop based in Exeter before succeeding Wulfsige c. 900 as bishop of Sherborne.’
    • ‘Of the three options that would entail a permanent junior role for women, one would allow women to be suffragan bishops but prevent them being a senior bishop in charge of one of the church's 44 dioceses.’
    1. 1.1A bishop in relation to their archbishop or metropolitan.
      • ‘In 1808, Pope Pius VII made Baltimore an archdiocese, with suffragan bishops in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Bardstown, Kentucky.’





Late Middle English from Anglo-Norman French and Old French, representing medieval Latin suffraganeus ‘assistant (bishop)’, from Latin suffragium (see suffrage).