Definition of vicar in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvɪkə/


1(In the Church of England) an incumbent of a parish where tithes formerly passed to a chapter or religious house or layperson. Compare with rector (sense 1).
Example sentences
  • The movement claims as active members 40 or 50 Church of England vicars and some Catholic priests.
  • For 12 months cameras will follow the fortunes of the St Mary Magdalene's, which at present is being looked after by a vicar from a neighbouring parish, as the new incumbent tries to make a difference.
  • She later earned a doctorate in psychology from Fordham University, and was the vicar for religious in the Trenton Diocese.
1.1(In other Anglican Churches) a member of the clergy deputizing for another.
Example sentences
  • The Carlisle diocese has started its search for a part-time vicar to fill some of the duties of the Reverend Harry Brown at one of two small parishes near Kendal.
minister, rector, priest, parson, minister of religion, clergyman, clergywoman, cleric, churchman, churchwoman, ecclesiastic, pastor, father, man/woman of the cloth, man/woman of god, curate, chaplain, curé, presbyter, preacher, lay preacher, evangelist, divine;
Scottish  kirkman;
North American  dominie
informal reverend, padre, Holy Joe, sky pilot
Australian informal josser
1.2(In the Roman Catholic Church) a representative or deputy of a bishop.
Example sentences
  • The Pope's vicar or deputy for Rome, Cardinal Camillo Luini, also continues in his functions of providing for the pastoral needs of the city.
  • Bishops should resume their traditional roles as vicars of Christ in their own dioceses and be prepared to consult with the presbyteral, pastoral, and finance councils provided for in canon law.
  • Now, I suspect that most of us read this anecdote with a somewhat bemused attitude at the daring of the vicar for having asked something so time-consuming of his bishop.
1.3(In the US Episcopal Church) a member of the clergy in charge of a chapel.
1.4A cleric or choir member appointed to sing certain parts of a cathedral service.
Example sentences
  • From 1692 to 1695 he was organist at Winchester College, and in 1699 he was made a vicar choral and organist of St Paul's Cathedral.
  • Two of the vicars choral were sitting by the fire.
  • And certain vicars choral did succumb to the temptation of female company.



Pronunciation: /ˈvɪkəʃɪp/
Example sentences
  • During the vicarship of Fr. Vincent Das Navis, in 1910, foundation stone for the present new church was laid.
  • The vicarship was absolved, and the areas outside of Transylvania were again united with the main church.
  • He served parochial vicarships in Greensburg, New Kensington and Indiana, before being named pastor of Seven Dolors Parish in Yukon and administrator of St. Timothy.


Middle English: via Anglo-Norman French from Old French vicaire, from Latin vicarius 'substitute', from vic- 'change, turn, place' (compare with vice2).

  • The original vicar was a person who stood in for another; at first, around 1300, as an earthly representative of God or Christ (the pope), and then for an absent parson or rector. From there the vicar became the minister in charge of a parish where tithes or taxes passed to a monastery or other religious house, who paid the vicar as their ‘representative’—a rector (LME from the Latin for ‘rule’), on the other hand, kept the tithes for himself. These meanings reflected the root, Latin vicarius ‘a substitute’, from which vicarious (mid 17th century), ‘experienced in the imagination through the actions of another person’, also derives.

Words that rhyme with vicar

bicker, clicker, dicker, flicker, kicker, liquor, nicker, picker, pricker, shicker, slicker, snicker, sticker, ticker, tricker, whicker, Wicca, wicker

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: vicar

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