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priestcraft

[preest-kraft, -krahft] /ˈpristˌkræft, -ˌkrɑft/
noun
1.
the training, knowledge, and abilities necessary to a priest.
Origin of priestcraft
1475-1485
First recorded in 1475-85; priest + craft
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for priestcraft
Historical Examples
  • There were also Shamans of hunting, of medicine and priestcraft.

    The Trail Book Mary Austin
  • The latter are based on conquest or priestcraft, and the former on reason.

  • "You are thinking of priestcraft, not philosophy, Cazotte," said Champfort.

    Zanoni Edward Bulwer Lytton
  • Its name is priestcraft and Intolerance under the name of “Religion.”

  • Not much ahead of ancient Egyptians in spirituality or in priestcraft!

  • He had resolved to strike a blow at priestcraft before he died.

  • It soon became the test of Teutonic patriotism to resist Italian priestcraft.

    The Holy Roman Empire James Bryce
  • The world has discarded kingcraft and priestcraft and come to mobcraft.

    Old Mole Gilbert Cannan
  • The surplice was the badge of priestcraft, and he thanked God he was not a priest.

    The Church Index William Pepperell
  • The people for the most part, believed this infamous tissue of priestcraft.

    The Ghosts Robert G. Ingersoll
British Dictionary definitions for priestcraft

priestcraft

/ˈpriːstˌkrɑːft/
noun
1.
the art and skills involved in the work of a priest
2.
(derogatory) the influence of priests upon politics or the use by them of secular power
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 priestcraft
n.

late 15c., "business of being a priest," from priest + craft (n.). After rise of Protestantism and the Enlightenment, it acquired a pejorative sense of "arts and devices of ambitious priests for attaining and holding temporal power and social control" (1680s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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