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parson

[pahr-suh n]
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noun
  1. a member of the clergy, especially a Protestant minister; pastor; rector.
  2. the holder or incumbent of a parochial benefice, especially an Anglican.
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Origin of parson

1200–50; Middle English persone < Medieval Latin persōna parish priest, Latin: personage. See person
Related formspar·son·ic [pahr-son-ik] /pɑrˈsɒn ɪk/, par·son·i·cal, adjectivepar·son·i·cal·ly, adverbpar·son·ish, par·son·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

vicar, pastor, preacher, priest, chaplain, minister, rector, ecclesiastic, padre, reverend

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British Dictionary definitions for parson

parson

noun
  1. a parish priest in the Church of England, formerly applied only to those who held ecclesiastical benefices
  2. any clergyman
  3. NZ a nonconformist minister
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Derived Formsparsonic (pɑːˈsɒnɪk) or parsonical, adjective

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for parson

n.

late 12c., from Anglo-French and Old French persone "curate, parson, holder of Church office" (12c.), from Medieval Latin persona "parson" (see person). Ecclesiastical use is obscure; it might refer to the "person" legally holding church property, or it may be an abbreviation of persona ecclesiae "person of the church."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper