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[ves-tree] /ˈvɛs tri/
noun, plural vestries.
a room in or a building attached to a church, in which the vestments, and sometimes liturgical objects, are kept; sacristy.
(in some churches) a room in or a building attached to a church, used as a chapel, for prayer meetings, for the Sunday school, etc.
Episcopal Church. a committee elected by members of a congregation to serve with the churchwardens in managing the temporal affairs of the church.
Church of England. a meeting attended by all the parishioners or by a committee of parishioners during which the official business of the church is discussed.
Origin of vestry
1350-1400; Middle English vestrie, vestrye. See vest (v.), -ery
Related forms
vestral, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for vestry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • By the time they entered Tiverton Street, the vestry was full of chattering groups.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • He drove on, almost to the vestry, and found no trace of her.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • You'll find a fire in the vestry, on account of the painters.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • At Rettenden, Essex, there is a room over the vestry which has evidently been an anchor-hold.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • He returned the bottle to his pocket, and went to the vestry for his surplice.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • He saw Mr. Bonnithorne, who was at the head of it, go into the vestry.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • He elbowed and edged his way through the crowd, and got into the vestry at last.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • They were all in the vestry now, standing together in a group.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • In the vestry he approached the bride and muttered the conventional wishes.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for vestry


noun (pl) -tries
a room in or attached to a church in which vestments, sacred vessels, etc, are kept
a room in or attached to some churches, used for Sunday school, meetings, etc
(Church of England)
  1. a meeting of all the members of a parish or their representatives, to transact the official business of the parish
  2. the body of members meeting for this; the parish council
(Episcopal Church, Anglican Church) a committee of vestrymen chosen by the congregation to manage the temporal affairs of their church
Derived Forms
vestral, adjective
Word Origin
C14: probably from Old French vestiarie; see vest
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 vestry

late 14c., probably from Anglo-French *vesterie, from Old French vestiaire "room for vestments," from Latin vestarium "wardrobe," noun use of neuter of vestiarius (adj.) "of clothes," from vestis "garment" (see vest (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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