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rector

[rek-ter]
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noun
  1. a member of the clergy in charge of a parish in the Protestant Episcopal Church.
  2. Roman Catholic Church. an ecclesiastic in charge of a college, religious house, or congregation.
  3. Anglican Church. a member of the clergy who has the charge of a parish with full possession of all its rights, tithes, etc.
  4. the head of certain universities, colleges, and schools.
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Origin of rector

1350–1400; Middle English rectour < Latin rēctor helmsman, ruler, leader, equivalent to reg(ere) to rule + -tor -tor
Related formsrec·to·ri·al [rek-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /rɛkˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/, adjectivesub·rec·tor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for rector

rector

noun
  1. Church of England a clergyman in charge of a parish in which, as its incumbent, he would formerly have been entitled to the whole of the tithesCompare vicar
  2. RC Church a cleric in charge of a college, religious house, or congregation
  3. Episcopal Church Scottish Episcopal Church a clergyman in charge of a parish
  4. mainly British the head of certain schools or colleges
  5. (in Scotland) a high-ranking official in a university: now a public figure elected for three years by the students
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Derived Formsrectorate, nounrectorial (rɛkˈtɔːrɪəl), adjectiverectorship, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Latin: director, ruler, from regere to rule
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

Word Origin and History for rector

n.

late 14c. (early 13c. in Anglo-Latin), from Latin rector "ruler, governor, director, guide," from rect-, past participle stem of regere "to rule, guide" (see regal). Used originally of Roman governors and God, by 18c. generally restricted to clergymen and college heads. Related: Rectorship.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper