From Middle English pope, popa, from Old English pāpa, from Vulgar Latin papa (“title for priests & bishops, esp. & by 8th c. only the bishop of Rome”), from early Byzantine Greek παπᾶς (papâs, “title for priests & bishops, especially by 3rd c. the bishop of Alexandria”), from late Ancient Greek πάπας (pápas, “title for priests & bishops, in the sense of spiritual father”), from πάππας (páppas, “papa, daddy”).
- (Roman Catholicism and generally) An honorary title of the Roman Catholic bishop of Rome as father and head of his church.
- (by extension, now often ironic) Any similarly absolute and 'infallible' authority.
- (by extension) Any similar head of a religion.
- (uncommon) A theocrat, a priest-king, including (at first especially) over the imaginary land of Prester John or (now) in figurative and alliterative uses.
- (Britain) An effigy of the pope traditionally burnt in Britain on Guy Fawkes' Day and (occasionally) at other times.
- (US, obsolete) Pope Day, the present Guy Fawkes Day.
- (Coptic Church) An honorary title of the Coptic bishop of Alexandria as father and head of his church.
- (Eastern Orthodoxy) An honorary title of the Orthodox bishop of Alexandria as father and head of his autocephalous church.
- (Christianity, historical, obsolete) Any bishop of the early Christian church.
- (Britain) The ruffe, a small Eurasian freshwater fish (Gymnocephalus cernua); others of its genus.
- (Britain regional, Cumberland, Cornwall, Devon, Scotland) The Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica).
- (US regional) The painted bunting (Passerina ciris).
- (rare) The red-cowled cardinal (Paroaria dominicana).
By analogy with bishop (“mulled and spiced wine”).
- (alcoholic beverages) Any mulled wine (traditionally including tokay) considered similar and superior to bishop.
From Russian поп (pop), from Old Church Slavonic попъ (pop'), from Byzantine Greek as above.
- (Russian Orthodoxy) Alternative form of pop, a Russian Orthodox priest.
Of Onomatopoeic origin.
- (US, dialectal, obsolete) The whippoorwill (Caprimulgus vociferus).
- (US, dialectal, rare) The nighthawk (Chordeiles minor).
pope was also found in the following language(s): French, Portuguese, and Spanish