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[prez-bi-ter-ee, pres-] /ˈprɛz bɪˌtɛr i, ˈprɛs-/
noun, plural presbyteries.
a body of presbyters or elders.
(in Presbyterian churches) an ecclesiastical court consisting of all the ministers and one or two presbyters from each congregation in a district.
the churches under the jurisdiction of a presbytery.
the part of a church appropriated to the clergy.
Roman Catholic Church. a rectory.
Origin of presbytery
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English presbetory, presbitory priests' bench, for Late Latin presbyterium group of elders < Greek presbytérion. See presbyter, -y3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for presbytery
Historical Examples
  • The pavement of this presbytery is worthy of particular attention.

    Italy, the Magic Land Lilian Whiting
  • From springtime until autumn the presbytery was redolent of mignonette.

    Balthasar Anatole France
  • He was buried close to the presbytery, and his wife was, in 1409, buried next to him.

  • Prelacy, he knew, was but the King's choice for the nation: presbytery was the nation's choice for itself.

    Andrew Melville William Morison
  • He recommended the appointment of an English bishop and a Scots' presbytery.

  • One bay of its presbytery and two adjoining chapels have been spared.

  • Turning to climb upwards to the presbytery, the girl met Denis Quirk.

    Grey Town Gerald Baldwin
  • If St. Mary's Church were large and imposing, the presbytery was old and diminutive.

    Grey Town Gerald Baldwin
  • Such was the presbytery of Grey Town and its inmates in the days of which I am writing.

    Grey Town Gerald Baldwin
  • presbytery met in town that year, and all the big preachers in the state was there.

    Aunt Jane of Kentucky Eliza Calvert Hall
British Dictionary definitions for presbytery


/ˈprɛzbɪtərɪ; -trɪ/
noun (pl) -teries
(Presbyterian Church)
  1. a local Church court composed of ministers and elders
  2. the congregations or churches within the jurisdiction of any such court
the part of a cathedral or church east of the choir, in which the main altar is situated; sanctuary
presbyters or elders collectively
government of a church by presbyters or elders
(RC Church) the residence of a parish priest
Word Origin
C15: from Old French presbiterie, from Church Latin presbyterium, from Greek presbyterion; see presbyter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for presbytery

"part of a church reserved for the clergy," early 15c., from Church Latin presbyterium, from Greek presbyterion, from presbyteros "an elder" (see Presbyterian). Meaning "body of elders in the Presbyterian system" is recorded from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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