[ pri-sen-ter ]
See synonyms for precentor on
  1. a person who leads a church choir or congregation in singing.

Origin of precentor

1605–15; <Late Latin praecentor leader in music, equivalent to Latin praecen-, variant stem of praecinere to lead in singing (prae-pre- + -cinere, combining form of canere to sing; see canto) + -tor-tor

Other words from precentor

  • pre·cen·to·ri·al [pree-sen-tawr-ee-uhl, -tohr-], /ˌpri sɛnˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/, adjective
  • pre·cen·tor·ship, noun

Words Nearby precentor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use precentor in a sentence

  • The most uncanny thing about the kirk was the precentor's box beneath the pulpit.

    Auld Licht Idylls | J. M. Barrie
  • At the age of eighteen Frey became a teacher and a precentor in small congregations.

    Some Jewish Witnesses For Christ | Rev. A. Bernstein, B.D.
  • Before beginning his trial sermon he handed down the big Bible to the precentor, to give his arms free swing.

    Auld Licht Idyls | J. M. Barrie
  • However, I have always been of opinion that the thought of the precentor in his box gave Cree a fleeting sense of humor.

    Auld Licht Idyls | J. M. Barrie
  • The precentor: Argent, on a saltire azure a fleur-de-lis or.

    A Complete Guide to Heraldry | Arthur Charles Fox-Davies

British Dictionary definitions for precentor


/ (prɪˈsɛntə) /

  1. a cleric who directs the choral services in a cathedral

  2. a person who leads a congregation or choir in the sung parts of church services

Origin of precentor

C17: from Late Latin praecentor leader of the music, from prae before + canere to sing

Derived forms of precentor

  • precentorial (ˌpriːsɛnˈtɔːrɪəl), adjective
  • precentorship, noun

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