Definition of high priest in English:

Share this entry

high priest

Pronunciation: /ˈˌhī ˈprēst/


1A chief priest of a non-Christian religion, in particular.
Example sentences
  • The high priests of ancient Egypt knew that gold was special; it has taken six millennia to appreciate why.
  • The ancient Egyptians were known to have worshipped meteorites and the high priests and members of the various royal families wore small pieces of them as jewellery.
  • The Indian-born daughter of a Zoroastrian high priest left £500,000 in her will for a new community hall at The Guildhall.
1.1The chief priest of the historic Jewish religion.
Example sentences
  • It was the only day in the Jewish calendar when the high priest could enter the innermost room of the temple - the most holy place.
  • The two main characters involved in Jesus's death are Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, and Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest.
  • Jerusalem itself was governed by the Jewish high priest, who was responsible to a Roman prefect.
1.2The head of a religious cult or similar group.
Example sentences
  • The Druids, the high priests of the Celts, spent twenty years learning the traditions and oral lessons.
  • For support, Alonso relied on his family and, increasingly, on his babalawo, or Santerian high priest.
  • According to Chief Obadio, the high priest of Oduduwa in Ife, human sacrifice was offered to the deity in the past.
1.3A chief advocate of a belief or practice: the high priest of the drug culture
More example sentences
  • But who could have foreseen that the man once known as the high priest of UK drugs culture would team up with the singer from the ultimate Scottish teenybop band?
  • As Pierre Boulez turns 80, some of the world's greatest composers give their verdict on the high priest of modernism
  • Kerr, the former 20-a-day man, is the high priest of this new ideology.
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.