[ vik-er ]
/ ˈvɪk ər /
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Church of England.
  1. a person acting as priest of a parish in place of the rector, or as representative of a religious community to which tithes belong.
  2. 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.
Protestant Episcopal Church.
  1. a member of the clergy whose sole or chief charge is a chapel dependent on the church of a parish.
  2. a bishop's assistant in charge of a church or mission.
Roman Catholic Church. an ecclesiastic representing the pope or a bishop.
a person who acts in place of another; substitute.
a person who is authorized to perform the functions of another; deputy: God's vicar on earth.
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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


vic·ar·ship, nounsub·vic·ar, nounsub·vic·ar·ship, nounun·der·vic·ar, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use vicar in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for vicar

/ (ˈvɪkə) /

Church of England
  1. (in Britain) a clergyman appointed to act as priest of a parish from which, formerly, he did not receive tithes but a stipend
  2. a clergyman who acts as assistant to or substitute for the rector of a parish at Communion
  3. (in the US) a clergyman in charge of a chapel
RC Church a bishop or priest representing the pope or the ordinary of a diocese and exercising a limited jurisdiction
Also called: lay vicar, vicar choral Church of England a member of a cathedral choir appointed to sing certain parts of the services
a person appointed to do the work of another

Derived forms of vicar

vicarly, adjective

Word Origin for vicar

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