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

  • n. A member of the Anglican clergy who receives a prebend.
  • n. An Anglican cleric holding the honorary title of prebend without a stipend.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An honorary canon of a cathedral or collegiate church.
  • adj. Pertaining to the office or person of a prebendary; prebendal.
  • adj. Of or relating to official positions that are profitable for the incumbent, to the allocation of such positions, or to a system in which such allocation is prevalent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A clergyman attached to a collegiate or cathedral church who enjoys a prebend in consideration of his officiating at stated times in the church. See note under benefice, n., 3.
  • n. A prebendaryship.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who holds a prebend.
  • n. A prebendaryship.

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

  • n. a canon who receives a prebend for serving the church


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Medieval Latin praebendārius, from Late Latin praebenda ("literally ‘things to be supplied’; prebend"), neuter plural of gerundive of praebeō ("supply"), from prae- ("pre-") + habeō ("have, hold").


  • The Seward family cultivated an 'open door' policy at the Bishop's Palace, holding breakfast, tea, dinner and supper parties and musical evenings, to which many from the prebendary houses in The Close: The Addenbrookes, Smallbrookes, Woodhouses, Vyses and the Garrick ladies.

    Anna Seward (1742-1809)

  • Reverend J.T. Becher, prebendary of Southwell minster, who objected to what he considered the too voluptuous coloring of the poem

    Fugitive Pieces

  • Bianchini, a prebendary of Verona, otherwise distinguished in letters, who published an account of it at Verona in 1731, which he afterwards republished at Rome.

    Bleak House

  • ‘I remember it as well as if it was yesterday, and old Dr. Ball, the prebendary, with the carbuncles on his nose, saw it too!’

    He Knew He Was Right

  • His father the prebendary had not said this in so many words, but had he done so, he could not have signified it more plainly.

    Barchester Towers

  • Eleanor was very much afraid that Charlotte would have darted out upon her, as the prebendary got out at his own door, but Bertie had thoughtfully saved her from this by causing the carriage to go round by her own house.

    Barchester Towers

  • Whatever the husband might feel, the wife cared nothing for frowns of dean, archdeacon, or prebendary.

    Barchester Towers

  • To this the dean assented, but alleged that contests on such a subject would be unseemly; to which rejoined a meagre little doctor, one of the cathedral prebendaries, that the contest must be all on the side of Mr. Slope if every prebendary were always there ready to take his own place in the pulpit.

    Barchester Towers

  • Bertie: and so the last adieux were made, and the prebendary led out Mrs. Bold, followed by his son.

    Barchester Towers

  • “The bishop would do anything for him,” said the little prebendary.

    Barchester Towers


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  • "I turn over twice, bed of embers, taken in by risk, violated by the speed of this century that has turned the heads of so many ardent worshipers of the State, God of Modern Times, on a quest for progress; Italy lulled by fascination for manufacture, signing pacts with flash-in-the-pan figures who ransacked their revolutionary period: sucked into the trajectory of bolstering the State and corrupting it in the process, creativity abandoned in sinecure and prebendary to set off in discovery of the proletarian era, with its canned announcements, lunar conquests, poetically inspired factories, how far we have drifted from that initial project that with millions in voice and deed made the country tremble, now returning to dissidence: Malevich, Mayakovsky, whose images and words capture oblivion, injecting us, in proletarian zeal, with the elixir that will purge us of our mystical vanity."

    Talismano by Abdelwahab Meddeb, translated by Jane Kuntz, p 237 of the Dalkey Archive Press paperback

    October 2, 2011

  • The Licentiate Sédillo, an old prebendary of the chapter here, turned away his servant yesterday evening...

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 1 ch. 17

    September 12, 2008