[ lek-ter ]
/ ˈlɛk tər /


a lecturer in a college or university.
Roman Catholic Church.
  1. a member of the next to lowest-ranking of the minor orders.
  2. the order itself.Compare acolyte(def 2), exorcist(def 2), ostiary(def 1).

Nearby words

  1. lectern,
  2. lectin,
  3. lectio difficilior,
  4. lection,
  5. lectionary,
  6. lectorate,
  7. lectotype,
  8. lecture,
  9. lecturer,
  10. lectureship

Origin of lector

1425–75; late Middle English < Latin: a reader, equivalent to leg(ere) to read + -tor -tor

Related formslec·tor·ate [lek-ter-it, -tuh-reyt] /ˈlɛk tər ɪt, -təˌreɪt/, lec·tor·ship, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for lectorate


/ (ˈlɛktɔː) /


a lecturer or reader in certain universities
RC Church
  1. a person appointed to read lessons at certain services
  2. (in convents or monastic establishments) a member of the community appointed to read aloud during meals
Derived Formslectorate (ˈlɛktərɪt) or lectorship, noun

Word Origin for lector

C15: from Latin, from legere to read

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 lectorate



late 14c., "reader, a cleric in one of the minor orders," from Late Latin lector "reader," agent noun from Latin legere "to read" (see lecture (n.)). Related: Lectorship.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper