- (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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for presbyter
The diaconate, the presbyter, priest or elder, and the επισκοπος or bishop.Mysticism and its Results
We do not know; no answer has been discovered; and Hartmann remained a Presbyter to the end.History of the Moravian Church
J. E. Hutton
The word prester was understood to be a corruption of presbyter.Genghis Khan, Makers of History Series
There was no priest (cohen); the presbyter was the "elder," nothing more.
According to the Stowe Missal it was administered by a presbyter.
- an elder of a congregation in the early Christian Church
- (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)
- a teaching elder
- a ruling elder
C16: from Late Latin, from Greek presbuteros an older man, from presbus old man
Word Origin and History for presbyter
"elder of the Christian church," 1590s, from Late Latin presbyter, used for "a priest" in Jerome and Prudentius, from Greek presbyteros "older," comparative of presbys "old; old man" (see presby-).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper