[ pri-sep-ter, pree-sep- ]
/ prɪˈsɛp tər, ˈpri sɛp- /


an instructor; teacher; tutor.
the head of a school.
the head of a preceptory.

Nearby words

  1. precentral sulcus,
  2. precept,
  3. preception,
  4. preceptive,
  5. preceptively,
  6. preceptorship,
  7. preceptory,
  8. preceptress,
  9. preceramic,
  10. precess

Origin of preceptor

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English word from Latin word praeceptor. See precept, -tor

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

Examples from the Web for preceptor

British Dictionary definitions for preceptor


/ (prɪˈsɛptə) /


US a practising physician giving practical training to a medical student
the head of a preceptory
rare a tutor or instructor
Derived Formspreceptorate, nounpreceptorial (ˌpriːsɛpˈtɔːrɪəl) or preceptoral, adjectivepreceptorship, nounpreceptress, fem n

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 preceptor



early 15c., "tutor, instructor" (earliest reference might be to "expert in the art of writing"), from Latin praeceptor "teacher, instructor," agent noun from praecipere (see precept). Medical training sense attested from 1803.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for preceptor


[ prĭ-sĕptər, prēsĕp′tər ]


An expert or specialist, such as a physician, who gives practical experience and training to a student, especially of medicine or nursing.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.