American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. In many Christian churches, a member of the second grade of clergy ranking below a bishop but above a deacon and having authority to administer the sacraments.
- n. A person having the authority to perform and administer religious rites.
- v. To ordain or admit to the priesthood.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One who is duly authorized to be a minister of sacred things; one whose stated duty it is to perform, on behalf of the community, certain public religious acts, particularly religious sacrifices.
- n. One who is ordained to the pastoral or sacerdotal office; a presbyter; an elder. In Wyclif the word priest is used where in Tyndale and the authorized version the word elder is used; for example, “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest reforme the things that are wanting, and shouldest ordaine priestes [presbyters,
πρεσβυτέρους; authorized version elders] by cities as I also appointed thee” (Titus i. 5).
- n. Specifically, in hierarchical churches, the second in rank in the clerical orders, between bishop and deacon. Etymologically, the word priest is a derivative or modification of the word presbyter. As, however, the office of the presbyterate has been regarded in the Christian church from primitive or early times as a sacerdotal office in so far as it confers power to celebrate the eucharist and to confer absolution, and as no church officer below a presbyter can exercise these functions, and all above a presbyter continue to exercise them in virtue of their ordination as presbyters, the title of presbyter and that of sacerdos or
ἰερευις(sacrificing priest) soon came to be regarded as synonymous, and either one or the other of these titles to be preferred in popular use in different languages, to the exclusion of its synonym. The title of priest ( ἱερεύς, sacerdos) was in the early church given by preeminence to the bishop (specifically the high priest) as ordinary celebrant of the eucharist in cities and the fountain of sacerdotal authority. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that it is the office of a priest “to offer, bless, rule, preach, and baptize.” These same offices are assigned to priests in the Orthodox Greek and other Oriental churches and in the Anglican Church. In the church last named the form of ordination gives authority to forgive or retain sins and be a dispenser of the word and sacraments, and only priests (including bishops as in priest's orders) can give benediction, pronounce absolution, and consecrate the eucharist.
- n. A breed of domestic pigeons, in four different color-varieties, black, blue, red, and yellow.
- n. A mark composed of two concentric circles, used as a private stamp, a brand for cattle, and the like in England.
- n. In the early Christian church, a bishop.
- n. A member of an order in the Mormon Church ranking among the higher orders. See Mormon.
- n. See the adjectives.
- To ordain to the priesthood; make a priest of.
- To hold the office or exercise the functions of a priest.
- n. A religious clergyman who is trained to perform services or sacrifices at a church or temple.
- n. A blunt tool, used for quickly stunning and killing fish.
- n. Mormonism The highest office in the Aaronic priesthood.
- v. transitive To ordain as a priest.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Christian Church) A presbyter elder; a minister.
- n. (R. C. Ch. & Gr. Ch.) One who is authorized to consecrate the host and to say Mass; but especially, one of the lowest order possessing this power.
- n. (Ch. of Eng. & Prot. Epis. Ch.) A presbyter; one who belongs to the intermediate order between bishop and deacon. He is authorized to perform all ministerial services except those of ordination and confirmation.
- n. One who officiates at the altar, or performs the rites of sacrifice; one who acts as a mediator between men and the divinity or the gods in any form of religion.
- v. To ordain as priest.
- n. a clergyman in Christian churches who has the authority to perform or administer various religious rites; one of the Holy Orders
- n. a person who performs religious duties and ceremonies in a non-Christian religion
- From Middle English preist, preest, from Old English prēost, from Late Latin presbyter, from Ancient Greek πρεσβύτερος (presbuteros), from πρέσβυς (presbus, "elder, older"). Reinforced in Middle English by Old French prestre, also from Latin presbyter. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English preost, from Old English prēost, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *prester (from Late Latin presbyter; see presbyter) or from West Germanic *prēvost (from Latin praepositus, superintendent; see provost). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“A Roman priest, a _priest_, you understand, dared to warn Benedetto, to advise him to be cautious.”
“As man," says he, "is illuminated with the grace of the Holy Spirit by the priest that baptizes, so also _he who confesses in penitence receives through the priest_, by the grace of Christ, the remission of sin.”
“Gospel has succeeded to the Jewish priest in respect to giving _surety_ officially for the fulfilment of the covenant, and on that account may with propriety be called a _priest_.”
“Saviour's body and blood, with numerous crossings, genuflexions, the elevation of the host and especially the self-communion of the priest, as an offering of the body of Christ a bloodless sacrifice for the sins of the living or dead; all of which was read and done by the _priest himself_ before the altar; and which preceded the sacramental communion of the congregation, and was the only preparation for the communion.”
“Becoming a priest is an option that turns that problem into a positive.”
“In fact, viewed from this light, a priest is the best bet Meggie has for finding herself any male attention at all.”
“At least a priest is around, and well-versed in domestic realities.”
“And the priest is a personal friend of one of the team members!”
“If you suspect a priest is a Sci Fi Priest, you have to corner him, and you have to do it fast.”
“And, how can the choir continue to send their children to the church knowing that the priest is a pedophile?”
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