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priest

[preest] /prist/
noun
1.
a person whose office it is to perform religious rites, and especially to make sacrificial offerings.
2.
  1. a person ordained to the sacerdotal or pastoral office; a member of the clergy; minister.
  2. (in hierarchical churches) a member of the clergy of the order next below that of bishop, authorized to carry out the Christian ministry.
3.
a minister of any religion.
verb (used with object)
4.
to ordain as a priest.
Origin of priest
900
before 900; Middle English prest(e), priest, Old English prēost, ultimately < Late Latin presbyter presbyter
Related forms
priestless, adjective
priestlike, adjective, adverb
antipriest, adjective
underpriest, noun
unpriestlike, adjective, adverb
Can be confused
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for priests
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "May God bless all our priests," said another, fearing that I might be offended.

    My New Curate P.A. Sheehan
  • "That Dominican nun is terrible for the priests of her time," the monk went on.

    En Route J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans
  • Purple and violet—to express royalty, "Kings and priests of God."

    A History of Mourning Richard Davey
  • If thou canst not trust His priests, couldst thou not trust Him?

    Earl Hubert's Daughter Emily Sarah Holt
  • The people have no other rule of conduct, than what their priests are pleased to prescribe.

    Good Sense Paul Henri Thiry, Baron D'Holbach
British Dictionary definitions for priests

priest

/priːst/
noun
1.
(Christianity) a person ordained to act as a mediator between God and man in administering the sacraments, preaching, blessing, guiding, etc
2.
(in episcopal Churches) a minister in the second grade of the hierarchy of holy orders, ranking below a bishop but above a deacon
3.
a minister of any religion
4.
(Judaism) a descendant of the family of Aaron who has certain privileges in the synagogue service
5.
(in some non-Christian religions) an official who offers sacrifice on behalf of the people and performs other religious ceremonies
6.
(sometimes capital) a variety of fancy pigeon having a bald pate with a crest or peak at the back of the head
7.
(angling) a small club used to kill fish caught
verb (transitive)
8.
to make a priest; ordain
related
adjective hieratic
Derived Forms
priestlike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English prēost, apparently from presbyter; related to Old High German prēster, Old French prestre
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 priests

priest

n.

Old English preost probably shortened from the older Germanic form represented by Old Saxon and Old High German prestar, Old Frisian prestere, all from Vulgar Latin *prester "priest," from Late Latin presbyter "presbyter, elder," from Greek presbyteros (see Presbyterian).

An alternative theory (to account for the -eo- of the Old English word) makes it cognate with Old High German priast, prest, from Vulgar Latin *prevost "one put over others," from Latin praepositus "person placed in charge," from past participle of praeponere (see provost). In Old Testament sense, a translation of Hebrew kohen, Greek hiereus, Latin sacerdos.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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priests in Culture

priest definition


One who is designated an authority on religious matters. In some churches, especially the Anglican Communion, Eastern Orthodox Church, and Roman Catholic Church, the ordained church leader who serves a congregation of believers is called a priest. The priests in these churches administer the sacraments, preach, and care for the needs of their congregations. (See also minister and pastor.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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9
10
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