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[rev-er-uh nd, rev-ruh nd] /ˈrɛv ər ənd, ˈrɛv rənd/
(initial capital letter) (used as a title of respect applied or prefixed to the name of a member of the clergy or a religious order):
Reverend Timothy Cranshaw; Reverend Mother.
worthy to be revered; entitled to reverence.
pertaining to or characteristic of the clergy.
Informal. a member of the clergy.
Origin of reverend
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin reverendus worthy of being revered, gerund of reverērī to revere1
Related forms
reverendship, noun
Can be confused
reverend, reverent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for reverend
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But every body else was there, so we did not miss these grave and reverend seigniors.

  • The reverend Cecil had not the habit of shirking any duty because he happened to dislike it.

  • "I hope I shall have strength given me to do my duty," said the reverend Cecil.

  • The reverend Farouche, therefore, holds a secret conference with her father.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • It was his fellow-curate, the reverend Golightly, who was still waiting to deliver his message.

    The Christian Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for reverend


worthy of reverence
relating to or designating a clergyman or the clergy
(informal) a clergyman
Word Origin
C15: from Latin reverendus fit to be revered; see revere


a title of respect for a clergyman Abbreviations Rev., Revd See also Very Reverend, Right Reverend, Most Reverend
Usage note
Reverend with a surname alone (Reverend Smith), as a term of address (``Yes, Reverend''), or in the salutation of a letter (Dear Rev. Mr Smith) are all generally considered to be wrong usage. Preferred are (the) Reverend John Smith or Reverend Mr Smith and Dear Mr Smith
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 reverend

early 15c., "worthy of respect," from Middle French reverend, from Latin reverendus "(he who is) to be respected," gerundive of revereri (see reverence). As a form of address for clergymen, it is attested from late 15c.; earlier reverent (late 14c. in this sense). Abbreviation Rev. is attested from 1721, earlier Revd. (1690s). Very Reverend is used of deans, Right Reverend of bishops, Most Reverend of archbishops.


"clergyman," c.1500, from reverend (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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