Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun 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.
  • noun A person having the authority to perform and administer religious rites.
  • transitive verb To ordain or admit to the priesthood.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun One who is ordained to the pastoral or sacerdotal office; a presbyter; an elder.
  • noun Specifically, in hierarchical churches, the second in rank in the clerical orders, between bishop and deacon.
  • noun A breed of domestic pigeons, in four different color-varieties, black, blue, red, and yellow.
  • noun A mark composed of two concentric circles, used as a private stamp, a brand for cattle, and the like in England.
  • noun In the early Christian church, a bishop.
  • noun A member of an order in the Mormon Church ranking among the higher orders. See Mormon.
  • noun See the adjectives.
  • To ordain to the priesthood; make a priest of.
  • To hold the office or exercise the functions of a priest.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Christian Church) A presbyter elder; a minister.
  • noun (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.
  • noun (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.
  • noun 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.
  • transitive verb To ordain as priest.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A religious clergyman who is trained to perform services or sacrifices at a church or temple.
  • noun A blunt tool, used for quickly stunning and killing fish.
  • noun Mormonism The highest office in the Aaronic priesthood.
  • verb transitive To ordain as a priest.

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

  • noun a clergyman in Christian churches who has the authority to perform or administer various religious rites; one of the Holy Orders
  • noun a person who performs religious duties and ceremonies in a non-Christian religion

Etymologies

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

[Middle English prest, from Old English prēost, from Late Latin presbyter; see presbyter.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

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