Definitions

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

  • n. A cleric in charge of a parish in the Protestant Episcopal Church.
  • n. An Anglican cleric who has charge of a parish and owns the tithes from it.
  • n. A Roman Catholic priest appointed to be managerial as well as spiritual head of a church or other institution, such as a seminary or university.
  • n. The principal of certain schools, colleges, and universities.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In the Anglican Church, a cleric in charge of a parish and who owns the tithes of it.
  • n. In the Roman Catholic Church, a cleric with managerial as well as spiritual responsibility for a church or other institution.
  • n. A headmaster in various educational institutions, e.g. a university.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A ruler or governor.
  • n.
  • n. A clergyman who has the charge and cure of a parish, and has the tithes, etc.; the clergyman of a parish where the tithes are not impropriate. See the Note under Vicar.
  • n. A clergyman in charge of a parish.
  • n. The head master of a public school.
  • n. The chief elective officer of some universities, as in France and Scotland; sometimes, the head of a college.
  • n. The superior officer or chief of a convent or religious house; and among the Jesuits the superior of a house that is a seminary or college.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A ruler or governor.
  • n. In the Ch. of Eng., a clergyman who has the charge of a parish and full possession of all the rights and privileges attached thereto.
  • n. In the United States, a clergyman in charge of a parish in the Protestant Episcopal Church.
  • n. In the Roman Catholic Church, an ecclesiastic in charge of a congregation, a college, or a religious house; specifically, the superior of a Jesuit seminary or college.
  • n. The chief elective officer of some universities, as in France and Scotland.
  • n. The presiding officer or chairman of certain gilds and associations.

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

  • n. a person authorized to conduct religious worship

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin rēctor, director, from , rēctus past participle of regere, to rule; see reg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin, itself from rectus, past participle of regere 'to direct' (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To a rector who has resigned is often given the title rector emeritus.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • The term rector is applied likewise to the heads of universities, seminaries, and colleges; to the local superiors of religious houses of men; to the pope, as rector of the world, in the conferring of the tiara.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • I find something satisfyingly timeless about it, with sunlight on the Georgian orange brick, the feeling that perhaps the rector is within, preparing his sermon to be preached in the equally satisfying Perpendicular church at the back.

    The Langton Messiah

  • Anyhow, I called the rector and I heard Beatles music in the background ... he must be a good fellow.

    trinityboy Diary Entry

  • The same groups, olivadentes -- the same as they call the rector of the university -- because it includes economists, agricultural engineers, civil engineers, hydraulic engineers, electrical engineers, chemical engineers, biologists, and a lot more, will move from Havana toward the south Matanzas zone.

    12TH ANNIVERSARY OF ATTACK ON PRESIDENTIAL PALAC

  • She called the rector a Papist; hinted that the doctor's wife was no better than she should be; announced that Morley owed money to his tradesmen, that he had squandered his wife's fortune; and finally wound up by saying that he would spend Daisy Kent's money when he got it.

    A Coin of Edward VII A Detective Story

  • After serving as rector of this church for 40 years, he retired in 1990 receiving the designation rector emeritus.

    chron.com Chronicle

  • The rector is a legendary schoolmaster, but a complex one.

    Visions From a Vanishing World

  • The rector is a lesbian, the church hosts BAGLY meetings, gays make up a large portion of the congregation, and our company has been greeted with open arms.

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • My rector is a woman and she is probably one of the finest priests I have ever met.

    Keeping hope alive

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Comments

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  • I'd say it has a whiff of more than that.

    December 17, 2008

  • This word has a whiff of wrongness.

    December 17, 2008