1590s, from or based on French titulaire (16c.), from Latin titulus (see title) + -ar. Related: Titulary.
Entries linking to titular
c. 1300, "inscription, heading," from Old French title "title or chapter of a book; position; legal permit" (12c., Modern French titre, by dissimilation), and in part from Old English titul, both from Latin titulus "inscription, label, ticket, placard, heading; honorable appellation, title of honor," of unknown origin. Meaning "name of a book, play, etc." first recorded mid-14c. The sense of "name showing a person's rank" in English is first attested 1580s. Sports championship sense attested from 1913 (originally in lawn tennis), hence titlist (1913). A title role in theater is one which gives its name to the play.
of titular rank
performed well in the titular (or title) role
the titular theme of the book
the nominal (or titular) head of his party