Definition of titular in English:


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  • 1Holding or constituting a purely formal position or title without any real authority.

    ‘the queen is titular head of the Church of England’
    • ‘a titular post’
    • ‘Come to think of it, if I was a socialist leader (in a real and not titular sense), and Castro had saved me from a coup attempt while offering free doctors and so on, I don't know that I would turn it down.’
    • ‘They bear symbolic, titular power whilst real power has migrated elsewhere.’
    • ‘However, his leadership is more titular than real.’
    • ‘The imperial court in Kyoto was downgraded to a purely titular power.’
    • ‘For Penny, a largely titular position and tolerance of lax management seem out of character.’
    • ‘Burt also confirmed he would step down from his role as governor of the Bank of Scotland, a titular post formerly held by Sir Jack Shaw, but that a successor will not be announced until early January.’
    • ‘The Queen could perform a useful constitutional role, as titular Head of State, but there's no reason on earth why they should continue to enjoy their wealth simply because we don't want the bother of electing a President.’
    • ‘To refuse to blame the system is to assume a certain power, the way a pretender assumes a royal title or titular duchy or two.’
    • ‘The strength of this study can be found in its identification of themes that board chairs utilize to enhance their ability to assume a true leadership position rather than simply fulfilling a titular role.’
    • ‘His position as chief executive was seemingly titular under Johnson, as he was never implicated in any of the police or FA investigations.’
    • ‘It is inconceivable that a future King of England would consider marrying outside his own Church, since the moment he assumes the throne, he will become the titular head of the Church of England.’
    • ‘After all, Prince Charles will be, one day, if he becomes king, titular head of the Church of England.’
    • ‘Prince Charles will be titular head of the Church of England if he becomes monarch, which we all hope he will one day.’
    • ‘The Queen, titular head of the Church of England, received him at Buckingham Palace.’
    • ‘The presidency would become increasingly titular and ceremonial, relying on advisors to run the day to day affairs of government.’
    nominal, in name only, in title only, formal, official, ceremonial
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    1. 1.1attributive (of a cleric) nominally appointed to serve a diocese, abbey, or other foundation no longer in existence, and typically in fact having authority in another capacity.
      ‘In 1677, he became a titular bishop, and spent the rest of his life ministering to the minority Roman Catholic populations in northern Germany, Denmark, and Norway.’
      • ‘Kemp was created a titular cardinal in 1439, recognition of his political stature; he rarely visited York diocese.’
      • ‘Predictably, the monks fought him tooth and nail; ruthlessly, the archbishop, who was their titular abbot, exiled them and broke their resistance.’
      • ‘Despite the suppression a number of monks remained on in Duiske and titular abbots continued to be appointed up to 1686.’
      • ‘He was a monk at 8 and a titular abbot at 13.’
  • 2Denoting a person or thing from whom or which the name of an artistic work or similar is taken.

    ‘the work's titular song’
    • ‘On the opener ‘I Don't Blame You,’ the singer is accompanied by a simple piano melody, adding more power to the accusation her voice harbors despite the song's titular disclaimer.’
    • ‘The song's titular scream provides the frozen emotional centerpiece for a feverish and insistent dirge, and a rare moment of absolute release amidst an album often marked by a chilling sense of emotional confinement.’
    • ‘Several of Russia's national districts unilaterally raised themselves to the higher form, but only five of what came to be twenty-one national republics inside Russia had a majority of the titular nationality.’
    • ‘John Critchley scored the movie, while Ian Blurton penned three original songs for the titular character's fictional band.’
    • ‘Although not always the case, the political advantages of an ethnic region are linked to whether a republic's leaders represent the titular nationality.’
    • ‘All are male and belong to the titular nationality of their country, therefore gender and ethnicity were not considered in any depth.’
    • ‘Sharing the frame with a jukebox, he begins to speak about the film, declaring it to be about the culture and grace of music, but his voice is drowned out by the raucous titular song.’
    • ‘So you would think that, as a result, his titular track The One and Only - the song that made and perhaps broke him - would hold sour memories.’
    • ‘When another woman breaks into song in the following scene, it becomes clear that we must endure a song by each of the titular group prancing around in front of the camera.’
    • ‘Most inhabitants of the titular nation consider their Moldovan identity as their central political one but their Romanian identity as culturally essential.’
    • ‘The titular parade was a real event that occurred every Easter, where everyone would walk down Fifth Avenue decked out in their Easter finery.’
    • ‘The titular ghosts of the title, Lord Byron, Lord Nelson and Queen Bodicea, are spectral bodies who aide and guide our heroes through the treacherous realm of the demonic forces.’
    • ‘The title and the frankly freaky sculptured titular bunnies on the cover might put you off (you know, like they would).’
    • ‘Like a number of her other works (including Giuliana, Real Girl, and Green Rooster, whose titular fowl is shown crowing at a television set), this piece provides clues to her system of visual cueing.’
    • ‘The real highlight of the movie is Brendan Fraser as the titular caveman.’
    • ‘Sadly, she is to be the author of the titular article, inspired by the third-date dumping of her friend.’
    • ‘Hugh Jackman dons the titular part with imposing gusto and gives it charm and authority.’
    • ‘In this case, the neighbourhood is Queens, the young man is newcomer Rob Brown, and the mentor character is Sean Connery, who plays the titular Forrester, a reclusive, J.D. Salingeresque author.’
    • ‘Stripped of its activism, the book's titular search for Afro-Asian solidarity could be read as an increasingly monastic pursuit, as the dream of a global alliance against imperialism is passed from one individual to the next.’
    • ‘The first Blade film was surprisingly awesome - Wesley Snipes was perfect as the titular vampire hunter, and the movie had really well-choreographed action sequences, a great look, and some very creative touches.’
    eponymous, identifying
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  • 3attributive Denoting any of the parish churches in Rome to which cardinals are formally appointed.

    • ‘the priests of the titular churches’



/ˈtiCH(ə)lər/ /ˈtɪtʃ(ə)lər/


Late 16th century (in the sense ‘existing only in name’): from French titulaire or modern Latin titularis, from titulus (see title).