The root of the word is "overseer." It refers to a Bishop. It also refers to the Christian denomination, the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, which is part of the worldwide Anglican Church with its origins in the Church of England. (In Canada, it is the Anglican Church, in England it is the Church of England, in Scottland it is the Episcopal Church.) It began when Henry VIII broke off the church in England with the Roman Catholic Church (the Pope in Rome) and declared that the Church of England would be ruled from England, not Rome.
In the Episcopal Church in the Uniteed States, there is a structure of oversight which includes bishops with episcopal oversight over dioceses. Unlike the Anglican Church in other countries, Bishops are elected by conventions in each diocese with representation from clergy and laity.
by John March 3, 2005
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Most commonly used to refer to the Episcopal Church or the Protestant Church in the United States of America. It is the National Church of the United States and a part of the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church has a membership of approximately 2.3 million and more than a quarter of all Presidents were Episcopalian. The Washington National Cathedral is an Episcopal Cathedral. The roots of the colonization, founding, leadership, and growth of the United States of America are very closely tied to the Episcopal Church.
Unlike many churches of similar liturgical background, the Episcopal Church allows ordained priests to be married, and the church ordains women (at every level, ie. Deacon, Priest, and Bishop).
Many consider the Episcopal Church to follow the via media or "middle way" between Protestant and strictly Catholic practices. Indeed, the Episcopal liturgy explicitly affirms belief in "one holy apostolic" church. Thus, many Episcopalians will argue that Roman Catholics are not the only "Catholics," but rather represent one of three branches of Catholicism--the Eastern Orthodox, the Roman Catholic, and the Episcopal or Anglo-Catholic. Episcopal liturgy, or the practice of the people in worship, does resemble that of the Roman Catholic Church, with certain differences, most notably the use of the Book of Common Prayer. -wikipedia
The Episcopal Church is highly involved in mission work around the world, has a particularly large number of congregants in Africa, where the church raises money to fight poverty, disease, and oppression.
The three tenets of the Anglican church, which have carried on into the Episcopal Church are Scripture, tradition, and reason, thus showing that the church is based strongly on the idea of being an informed, thinking participant in one's faith.

"Sad is the day for any man when he becomes absolutely satisfied with the life he is living, the thoughts that he is thinking and the deeds that he is doing; when there ceases to be forever beating at the doors of his soul a desire to do something larger which he seeks and knows he was meant and intended to do."
~Phillips Brooks
American Episcopal minister, gave sermon at Lincoln's funeral

"Being Episcopalian is great! Its like diet Catholic... All the religion of catholicism, and only HALF the guilt!"
~ Robin Williams
Actor and Comedian
by MaeM April 7, 2006
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Like Catholics but without the crap. And yes we like our coffee and our donuts. We are also extremely afraid of change. We ordain women and let the gays marry and that's why we're cool.
"how many episcopalians does it take to change a lightbulb?"

"One to talk about the duration of the lightbulbs life, one to drink coffee and watch and one to actually remove the lightbulb and replace it"
by Jschizzle July 6, 2006
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Refers to the Episcopal Church, an organization of agnostics and former Catholics who like to take coffee and donuts after their Sunday meetings. Assuming they're not out playing golf.
The Episcopal Church is Catholic-lite!
by Spong September 18, 2005
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Catholics without the whole devotion to God thing

Catholic lite is a good description
I wanna seem religious but I dont care about any rules, ill be episcopalian!!
by vavillain January 11, 2006
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Attending an Episcopal church or otherwise engaging in Episcopalian activities.
Person 1: Why are you up so early, it's a Sunday!
Person 2: Dude, I'm just too hype to go episcopaling!!
by Triple_D December 11, 2016
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Edit to definition 4: Refers to the Episcopal Church, an organization of agnostics and former Catholics who like to have wine and little wafers at their Sunday meeting.
How many Episcopalians does it take to change a light bulb? 10, 1 to change it and 9 to stand around in the parking lot talking about how much better the old light bulb was.
by someonespadre September 24, 2009
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