[ vik-er ]
See synonyms for vicar on
  1. Church of England.

    • a person acting as priest of a parish in place of the rector, or as representative of a religious community to which tithes belong.

    • the priest of a parish in which tithes were formerly transferred to a religious house, chapter, or layperson, the priest receiving only the smaller tithes or a salary.

  2. Protestant Episcopal Church.

    • a member of the clergy whose sole or chief charge is a chapel dependent on the church of a parish.

    • a bishop's assistant in charge of a church or mission.

  1. Roman Catholic Church. an ecclesiastic representing the pope or a bishop.

  2. a person who acts in place of another; substitute.

  3. a person who is authorized to perform the functions of another; deputy: God's vicar on earth.

Origin of vicar

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English, from Anglo-French vicare, vicaire, vikere, from Old French vicaire, from Latin vicārius “a substitute, deputy,” noun use of adjective; see origin at vicarious

Other words from vicar

  • vic·ar·ship, noun
  • sub·vic·ar, noun
  • sub·vic·ar·ship, noun
  • un·der·vic·ar, noun

Words Nearby vicar Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use vicar in a sentence

  • But Mrs. Dodd, the present vicar's wife, retained the precious prerogative of choosing the book to be read at the monthly Dorcas.

  • The living (value £250) is in the gift of trustees, and is now held by the Rev. M. Parker, vicar.

    Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham | Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell
  • Conny stepped smilingly forward, and proceeded to affix the band around the vicar's massive throat.

  • The vicar's wife, still slightly discomposed, launched out into some parochial matter she had wished to mention to him.

    Uncanny Tales | Various
  • He was released soon after Christmas, and another vicar filleth his place.

    Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham | Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell

British Dictionary definitions for vicar


/ (ˈvɪkə) /

  1. Church of England

    • (in Britain) a clergyman appointed to act as priest of a parish from which, formerly, he did not receive tithes but a stipend

    • a clergyman who acts as assistant to or substitute for the rector of a parish at Communion

    • (in the US) a clergyman in charge of a chapel

  2. RC Church a bishop or priest representing the pope or the ordinary of a diocese and exercising a limited jurisdiction

  1. Also called: lay vicar, vicar choral Church of England a member of a cathedral choir appointed to sing certain parts of the services

  2. a person appointed to do the work of another

Origin of vicar

C13: from Old French vicaire, from Latin vicārius (n) a deputy, from vicārius (adj) vicarious

Derived forms of vicar

  • vicarly, adjective

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