[ pahr-suh n ]
/ ˈpɑr sən /


a member of the clergy, especially a Protestant minister; pastor; rector.
the holder or incumbent of a parochial benefice, especially an Anglican.

Origin of parson

1200–50; Middle English persone < Medieval Latin persōna parish priest, Latin: personage. See person

Related forms

par·son·ic [pahr-son-ik] /pɑrˈsɒn ɪk/, par·son·i·cal, adjectivepar·son·i·cal·ly, adverbpar·son·ish, par·son·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for parson

British Dictionary definitions for parson


/ (ˈpɑːsən) /


a parish priest in the Church of England, formerly applied only to those who held ecclesiastical benefices
any clergyman
NZ a nonconformist minister

Derived Forms

parsonic (pɑːˈsɒnɪk) or parsonical, adjective

Word Origin for parson

C13: from Medieval Latin persōna parish priest, representative of the parish, from Latin: personage; see person
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