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priest

Line breaks: priest
Pronunciation: /priːst
 
/

Definition of priest in English:

noun

1An ordained minister of the Catholic, Orthodox, or Anglican Church, authorized to perform certain rites and administer certain sacraments: the priest celebrated mass at a small altar off the north transept
More example sentences
  • After leaving Perth he was a priest at the Anglican Church of St Augustine at Bulli in New South Wales.
  • Ordained an Anglican priest, he did keep up with his era's intellectual currents.
  • Around about age 13 I got the idea that I ought to be a priest in the Anglican church.
Synonyms
clergyman, clergywoman, minister (of religion), cleric, ecclesiastic, pastor, parson, churchman, churchwoman, man/woman of the cloth, man/woman of God, father;
Scottish kirkman;
North American dominie
Australian informal josser
1.1A person who performs religious ceremonies and duties in a non-Christian religion: the plays were performed within the sacred area of Dionysus, in the presence of his priest
More example sentences
  • At the top were the Brahmans, priests of the sacrificial religion and intellectuals.
  • The Brahmanas are rituals and prayers to guide the priests in their duties.
  • For most indigenous religions, priests and priestesses are common.
2A mallet used to kill fish caught when angling.
[with allusion to the priest's function in performing the last rites]
Example sentences
  • If taking a fish for the pot then it should be killed quickly and cleanly with a priest or knife then bagged out of sight.
  • Finished coracles are also delivered complete with a handcrafted priest or knocker used to humanely kill caught fish as a reminder that you are purchasing a historical fishing craft rather than a recreational toy.
  • Other items that you will always need include a priest for despatching any fish that you intend to keep to eat.

verb

[with object] formal Back to top  
Ordain to the priesthood: he was made deacon in 1990 and priested in 1994
More example sentences
  • As the church in Wales at that time did not allow women priests she had to wait until January 1997 to be priested in St Asaph's Cathedral.
  • I spoke about my vocation, which was originally about being a preacher of the Word, and how unexpected it was therefore, at the end of my deacon year, to find that being priested was such a special and moving event.
  • Former Suffragan Bishop of Southampton, the Rt Rev Jonathan Gledhill, ordained Cate as a deacon at Romsey Abbey in 2001 and the curate was priested the following year.

Origin

Old English prēost, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch priester, German Priester, based on ecclesiastical Latin presbyter 'elder' (see presbyter).

More
  • The Greek presbuteros ‘elder’ was used in the New Testament for ‘elder of the church, priest’ and became presbyter in Latin, which passed into Old English as preost, modern ‘priest’. Presbyter is also the source of presbytery (Late Middle English) and Presbyterian (mid 17th century). The usual Latin word for priest was sacerdos from sacer ‘holy’, which is the source of many words including sacrament (Middle English), sacred (Late Middle English), sacrifice (Middle English), and the opposite execrate (mid 16th century) ‘to curse’. The related sacrilege comes from Latin sacrilegus ‘stealer of holy things’. See also saint

Derivatives

priestlike

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • There is something profoundly priestlike about him.
  • Their signature compositions resemble stained-glass windows and often feature Gothic arches and gilded backdrops; the artists themselves frequently appear in saintly and priestlike poses.
  • Also priestlike was Guinness's deflection of attention from himself.

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