See more synonyms for vestry on
noun, plural ves·tries.
  1. a room in or a building attached to a church, in which the vestments, and sometimes liturgical objects, are kept; sacristy.
  2. (in some churches) a room in or a building attached to a church, used as a chapel, for prayer meetings, for the Sunday school, etc.
  3. Episcopal Church. a committee elected by members of a congregation to serve with the churchwardens in managing the temporal affairs of the church.
  4. Church of England. a meeting attended by all the parishioners or by a committee of parishioners during which the official business of the church is discussed.

Origin of vestry

1350–1400; Middle English vestrie, vestrye. See vest (v.), -ery
Related formsves·tral, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for vestry

sanctuary, shrine, church, oratory, tabernacle, bethel, chantry, vestry

Examples from the Web for vestry

Contemporary Examples of vestry

Historical Examples of vestry

  • He drove on, almost to the vestry, and found no trace of her.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • By the time they entered Tiverton Street, the vestry was full of chattering groups.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • You'll find a fire in the vestry, on account of the painters.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • At Rettenden, Essex, there is a room over the vestry which has evidently been an anchor-hold.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • He returned the bottle to his pocket, and went to the vestry for his surplice.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

British Dictionary definitions for vestry


noun plural -tries
  1. a room in or attached to a church in which vestments, sacred vessels, etc, are kept
  2. a room in or attached to some churches, used for Sunday school, meetings, etc
  3. Church of England
    1. a meeting of all the members of a parish or their representatives, to transact the official business of the parish
    2. the body of members meeting for this; the parish council
  4. Episcopal Church Anglican Church a committee of vestrymen chosen by the congregation to manage the temporal affairs of their church
Derived Formsvestral, adjective

Word Origin for vestry

C14: probably from Old French vestiarie; see vest
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 vestry

late 14c., probably from Anglo-French *vesterie, from Old French vestiaire "room for vestments," from Latin vestarium "wardrobe," noun use of neuter of vestiarius (adj.) "of clothes," from vestis "garment" (see vest (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper