[ rek-ter ]
See synonyms for rector on
  1. a member of the clergy in charge of a parish in the Protestant Episcopal Church.

  2. Roman Catholic Church. an ecclesiastic in charge of a college, religious house, or congregation.

  1. Anglican Church. a member of the clergy who has the charge of a parish with full possession of all its rights, tithes, etc.

  2. 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

Other words from rector

  • rec·to·ri·al [rek-tawr-ee-uhl, -tohr-], /rɛkˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/, adjective
  • sub·rec·tor, noun

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

How to use rector in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rector


/ (ˈrɛktə) /

  1. 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 tithes: Compare vicar

  2. RC Church a cleric in charge of a college, religious house, or congregation

  1. Episcopal Church Scottish Episcopal Church a clergyman in charge of a parish

  2. mainly British the head of certain schools or colleges

  3. (in Scotland) a high-ranking official in a university: now a public figure elected for three years by the students

Origin of rector

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

Derived forms of rector

  • rectorate, noun
  • rectorial (rɛkˈtɔːrɪəl), adjective
  • rectorship, 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