[ prez-bi-teer-ee-uhn, pres- ]

  1. pertaining to or based on the principle of ecclesiastical government by presbyters or presbyteries.

  2. (initial capital letter) designating or pertaining to various churches having this form of government and professing more or less modified forms of Calvinism.

  1. (initial capital letter) a member of a Presbyterian church; a person who supports Presbyterianism.

Origin of presbyterian

First recorded in 1635–45; presbytery + -an

Other words from presbyterian

  • non-Pres·by·te·ri·an, adjective, noun
  • pro-Pres·by·te·ri·an, adjective, noun
  • pseu·do-Pres·by·te·ri·an, adjective, noun

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

How to use presbyterian in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for presbyterian (1 of 2)


/ (ˌprɛzbɪˈtɪərɪən) /

  1. of, relating to, or designating Church government by presbyters or lay elders

  1. an upholder of this type of Church government

Derived forms of presbyterian

  • presbyterianism, noun
  • presbyterianistic, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for Presbyterian (2 of 2)


/ (ˌprɛzbɪˈtɪərɪən) /

  1. of or relating to any of various Protestant Churches governed by presbyters or lay elders and adhering to various modified forms of Calvinism

  1. a member of a Presbyterian Church

Derived forms of Presbyterian

  • Presbyterianism, 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