[rev-er-uh nd, rev-ruh nd]


(initial capital letter) (used as a title of respect applied or prefixed to the name of a member of the clergy or a religious order): Reverend Timothy Cranshaw; Reverend Mother.
worthy to be revered; entitled to reverence.
pertaining to or characteristic of the clergy.


Informal. a member of the clergy.

Nearby words

  1. reverberatory,
  2. reverberatory furnace,
  3. revere,
  4. revere, paul,
  5. reverence,
  6. reverend mother,
  7. reverent,
  8. reverential,
  9. reverentially,
  10. reverently

Origin of reverend

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin reverendus worthy of being revered, gerund of reverērī to revere1

Related formsrev·er·end·ship, noun

Can be confusedreverend reverent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reverend

British Dictionary definitions for reverend



worthy of reverence
relating to or designating a clergyman or the clergy


informal a clergyman

Word Origin for reverend

C15: from Latin reverendus fit to be revered; see revere



a title of respect for a clergymanAbbreviations: Rev., Revd See also Very Reverend, Right Reverend, Most Reverend


Reverend with a surname alone (Reverend Smith), as a term of address (``Yes, Reverend''), or in the salutation of a letter (Dear Rev. Mr Smith) are all generally considered to be wrong usage. Preferred are (the) Reverend John Smith or Reverend Mr Smith and Dear Mr Smith

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 reverend
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper