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

  • n. An Anglican cleric with full legal control of a parish under ecclesiastical law; a rector.
  • n. A member of the clergy, especially a Protestant minister.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An Anglican cleric having full legal control of a parish under ecclesiastical law; a rector.
  • n. A Protestant minister.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A person who represents a parish in its ecclesiastical and corporate capacities; hence, the rector or incumbent of a parochial church, who has full possession of all the rights thereof, with the cure of souls.
  • n. Any clergyman having ecclesiastical preferment; one who is in orders, or is licensed to preach; a preacher.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A person.
  • n. The person in holy orders who has the charge or cure of souls in a parish; the incumbent of a parochial benefice.
  • n. A clergyman in general; a man licensed to preach: often used colloquially, or with a touch of contempt: as, a fox-hunting parson.
  • n. A tiny finch of Brazil, Spermophila minuta.
  • n. The parson-bird or poe-bird.
  • n. Synonyms Clergyman, Priest, etc. See minister, n.

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

  • n. a person authorized to conduct religious worship


Middle English, parish priest, from Old French persone, from Medieval Latin persōna, from Latin, character; see person.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman, from Old French persone ("parson, person"), from Medieval Latin persona ("parson, person"), from Latin persona ("person"). (Wiktionary)


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