The definition of a priest is someone who performs religious rituals and rites for a church or other religious organization.
An example of a priest is the person in charge of an Episcopal church.
- a person whose function is to make sacrificial offerings and perform other religious rites as an intermediary between deity and worshipers
- in the early Christian church, a presbyter, or elder
- in hierarchical Christian churches, a clergyman ranking next below a bishop and authorized to administer the sacraments
- any clergyman
Origin of priestMiddle English prest ; from Old English preost (? with -o- by associated, association with profost, provost) ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin presbyter, an elder ; from Classical Greek presbyteros, elder, comparative of presbys, old, old man (in Ecclesiastical Late Greek an elder) ; from Indo-European an unverified form pres-, ahead ; from base an unverified form per- (see per, pre-) + an unverified form gwou-, cow, ox (hence, origin, originally , lead-ox)
- 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.
- A person having the authority to perform and administer religious rites.
transitive verbpriest·ed, priest·ing, priests
To ordain or admit to the priesthood.
Origin of priestMiddle English prest, from Old English prēost, from Late Latin presbyter; see presbyter.
- A surname.