Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Ecclesiastical.
  • n. A minister or priest; a cleric.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the church; ecclesiastical.
  • n. One who adheres to a church-based philosophy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the church. See ecclesiastical.
  • n. A person in holy orders, or consecrated to the service of the church and the ministry of religion; a clergyman; a priest.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Ecclesiastical; specifically, pertaining to the ministry or administration of the church.
  • n. In early usage, a member of the orthodox church, as distinguished from Jews, pagans, infidels, and heretics.
  • n. One holding an office in the Christian ministry, or otherwise officially consecrated to the service of the church: usually restricted to those connected with an episcopate, and in the middle ages to subordinate officials.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of or associated with a church (especially a Christian Church)
  • n. a clergyman or other person in religious orders

Etymologies

Late Latin ecclēsiasticus, from Greek ekklēsiastikos, from ekklēsiastēs, a member of the ecclesia; see Ecclesiastes.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin ecclesia ("church"), originally from Greek ἐκκλησία ("church") (Wiktionary)

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