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tussen- (in between) +‎ paus (pope)


tussenpaus m (plural tussenpausen, diminutive tussenpausje n)

  1. (literally) An 'intermediary' pope, whose pontificate (term of office) is so short or uneventful he's rarely mentioned except in lists of popes
  2. (figuratively) An incumbent whose main function is not to exerce the office but to 'keep the seat warm' or prepare the way for a far more notable successor, but fully titled, without being formally styled 'ad interim'

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