a person appointed to keep watch over students at examinations.
an official charged with various duties, especially with the maintenance of good order.

verb (used with or without object)

to supervise or monitor.

Origin of proctor

1350–1400; Middle English; contracted variant of procurator
Related formsproc·to·ri·al [prok-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /prɒkˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/, adjectiveproc·to·ri·al·ly, adverbproc·tor·ship, nounsub·proc·tor, nounsub·proc·to·ri·al, adjectivesub·proc·tor·ship, nounun·proc·tored, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for proctor

Contemporary Examples of proctor

Historical Examples of proctor

  • He ducked a proctor in a water-butt and the dons were very cross about it.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • To explain his hurried departure, Proctor told what called him away.


    Charles James Lever

  • "Her maid has just seen you, sir," suggested Proctor, mildly.

  • Yet Mr Proctor was not lulled into incaution by this seeming calm.

    The Rector

    Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

  • She did not look very ill to Mr Proctor's inexperienced eyes.

    The Rector

    Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

British Dictionary definitions for proctor



a member of the teaching staff of any of certain universities having the duties of enforcing discipline
US (in a college or university) a supervisor or monitor who invigilates examinations, enforces discipline, etc
(formerly) an agent, esp one engaged to conduct another's case in a court
(formerly) an agent employed to collect tithes
Church of England one of the elected representatives of the clergy in Convocation and the General Synod


(tr) US to invigilate (an examination)
Derived Formsproctorial (prɒkˈtɔːrɪəl), adjectiveproctorially, adverb

Word Origin for proctor

C14: syncopated variant of procurator
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 proctor

late 14c., contraction of procurator (c.1300) "steward or manager of a household;" also "a provider" (see procurator). From late 14c. as "one who acts or speaks for another; spokesman, advocate;" early 15c. as "business manager or financial administrator of a church, college, holy order, etc."


1670s, from proctor (n.). Related: Proctored; proctoring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper