[ prez-bi-ter, pres- ]
/ ˈprɛz bɪ tər, ˈprɛs- /


(in the early Christian church) an office bearer who exercised teaching, priestly, and administrative functions.
(in hierarchical churches) a priest.
an elder in a Presbyterian church.

Origin of presbyter

1590–1600; < Late Latin, noun use of the adj.: older < Greek presbýteros, equivalent to présby(s) old + -teros comparative suffix


pres·byt·er·al [prez-bit-er-uh l, pres-] /prɛzˈbɪt ər əl, prɛs-/, adjectivenon·pres·by·ter, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for presbyter

British Dictionary definitions for presbyter

/ (ˈprɛzbɪtə) /


  1. an elder of a congregation in the early Christian Church
  2. (in some Churches having episcopal politics) an official who is subordinate to a bishop and has administrative, teaching, and sacerdotal functions
(in some hierarchical Churches) another name for priest
(in the Presbyterian Church)
  1. a teaching elder
  2. a ruling elder

Word Origin for presbyter

C16: from Late Latin, from Greek presbuteros an older man, from presbus old man
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