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noun (1)

pas·​tor ˈpa-stər How to pronounce pastor (audio)
plural pastors
: a spiritual overseer
especially : a clergyperson serving a local church or parish
pastorship noun


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pastored; pastoring ˈpa-st(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce pastor (audio)

transitive verb

: to serve as pastor of
pastor a church


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noun (2)

pas·​tor pä-ˈstȯr How to pronounce pastor (audio)
chiefly Southwestern US

Examples of pastor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The dentist also called a pastor and a pharmacist before calling 911, according to the newspaper’s report. Sean Neumann, Peoplemag, 15 Sep. 2023 In late August, Henson learned that the pastor who had railed against the school board back in June would soon be meeting privately with district leaders. Aliyya Swaby, ProPublica, 14 Sep. 2023 Also pictured are attorney Ben Crump, fourth left, and pastor Earle Fisher, at lectern. Compiled By Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 13 Sep. 2023 There’s also RedBalloon, an anti-woke job database that promises to help conservatives find work with right-wing employers and was founded by an elder of a controversial Idaho church whose pastor is a slavery apologist. Kathryn Joyce, The New Republic, 12 Sep. 2023 Panelists include: Mass Cultural Council executive director Michael Bobbitt, Twelfth Baptist Church senior pastor Willie Bodrick II, Boston City Hall chief of staff Tiffany Chu, Eos Foundation president Andrea Silbert, and Point32Health’s Chrismaldi Vasquez-Casado. Globe Staff,, 11 Sep. 2023 Roberts’ childhood pastor officiated the ceremony, according to Good Morning America. al, 10 Sep. 2023 In another, Artur Pawlowski, a pastor who gave a speech encouraging demonstrators to continue their blockade of the border crossing in Coutts, Alberta, was found guilty this year of mischief and breaching a release order. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, 5 Sep. 2023 Strength to Stand hosts thousands of students at summer and winter camps and conferences and supports student pastors with a counseling service and student pastor retreats. Greg Garrison | , al, 5 Sep. 2023
My call there is to work hard to pastor it as a parish, but also to send out the message of the unity of the church of all parishes under the archbishop. Sophie Carson, Journal Sentinel, 11 Aug. 2023 During the pandemic, Dwight Mosley, who pastors a church in neighboring DeSoto County, helped run a drive-thru food pantry at an arena in Tunica County where long lines of cars showed how many families were overwhelmed. Bracey Harris, NBC News, 19 July 2023 Kirchharr later left the company to pastor a church, and Dustin Kilgore, a former Monroeville firefighter who had learned the ropes from Kirchharr, became the production manager. Bob Carlton |, al, 6 Oct. 2021 Two Norwegian couples heading the San Pedro site returned home earlier this year, and Berg, who had arrived from Norway in the summer of 2019 to pastor a sister church in San Francisco, now splits his time between the two locales. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 13 Dec. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pastor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English pastour, from Anglo-French, from Latin pastor herdsman, from pascere to feed — more at food

Noun (2)

Spanish, from Latin

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above


1623, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pastor was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near pastor

Cite this Entry

“Pastor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a minister or priest in charge of a church or parish
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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