Definition of pastor in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpɑːstə/


1A minister in charge of a Christian church or congregation, especially in some non-episcopal churches.
Example sentences
  • Christian priests, ministers, pastors, and deacons lead weekly services and conduct marriages and funerals.
  • Were that to happen, it would require that bishops be more fully what they are ordained to be, pastors of local churches charged with the tasks of teaching, sanctifying, and governing.
  • Unlike this bishop, church leaders, pastors and congregations need to create the opportunities for youth to discern their call to ministry.
Scottish  kirkman;
North American  dominie
Australian informal josser
2 (also rosy pastor) another term for rose-coloured starling.


[with object]
Be pastor of (a church or congregation): he pastored Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto [no object]: he continued to study law while pastoring in Chelsea
More example sentences
  • I have never pastored large congregations nor preached to great numbers of people.
  • Prior to this he had pastored churches in Gloucestershire and Bedfordshire.
  • In large part, to talk about clergy deployment in the Episcopal church is to talk about pastoring congregations.



Example sentences
  • Trying to decide to whom we would offer the pastorship was as close as I ever came to being a cardinal.
  • He resigned his associate pastorship in 1989 and, with the help of an inheritance and some investments, earned an MBA in marketing at Portland State University.
  • 1848 The Free Church of Scotland settlement is established at New Edinburgh, later Dunedin, New Zealand, under the pastorship of the reverend.


Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French pastour, from Latin pastor 'shepherd', from past- 'fed, grazed', from the verb pascere.

  • pasture from Middle English:

    The word pasture comes via Old French from late Latin pastura ‘grazing’, from the verb pascere ‘to graze’. A clergyman is seen as the shepherd of his flock, and pastor (Late Middle English) is the Latin for ‘shepherd, feeder’. Late Middle English pastoral is from Latin pastoralis ‘relating to a shepherd’. Its use in literary, art, and musical contexts dates from the late 16th century.

Words that rhyme with pastor

blaster, caster, castor, faster, grandmaster, headmaster, master, plaster

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pas¦tor

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