[ rek-ter ]
/ ˈrɛk tər /


a member of the clergy in charge of a parish in the Protestant Episcopal Church.
Roman Catholic Church. an ecclesiastic in charge of a college, religious house, or congregation.
Anglican Church. a member of the clergy who has the charge of a parish with full possession of all its rights, tithes, etc.
the head of certain universities, colleges, and schools.

Origin of rector

1350–1400; Middle English rectour < Latin rēctor helmsman, ruler, leader, equivalent to reg(ere) to rule + -tor -tor


rec·to·ri·al [rek-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /rɛkˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/, adjectivesub·rec·tor, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for rector

British Dictionary definitions for rector

/ (ˈrɛktə) /


Church of England a clergyman in charge of a parish in which, as its incumbent, he would formerly have been entitled to the whole of the tithesCompare vicar
RC Church a cleric in charge of a college, religious house, or congregation
Episcopal Church Scottish Episcopal Church a clergyman in charge of a parish
mainly British the head of certain schools or colleges
(in Scotland) a high-ranking official in a university: now a public figure elected for three years by the students

Derived forms of rector

rectorate, nounrectorial (rɛkˈtɔːrɪəl), adjectiverectorship, noun

Word Origin for rector

C14: from Latin: director, ruler, from regere to rule
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