presbyter

noun
pres·​by·​ter | \ ˈprez-bə-tər How to pronounce presbyter (audio) , ˈpres- \

Definition of presbyter

1 : a member of the governing body of an early Christian church
2 : a member of the order of priests in churches having episcopal hierarchies that include bishops, priests, and deacons

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from presbyter

presbyterate \ prez-​ˈbi-​tə-​rət How to pronounce presbyter (audio) , pres-​ , -​ˌrāt \ noun

Examples of presbyter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Rev. Allen D. Timm, executive presbyter of the Presbytery Church in Detroit, said the church is waiting to hear from the general assembly as to when volunteers will be dispatched to Houston. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "Metro Detroit mobilizes for Harvey victims: Here's how you can help," 29 Aug. 2017 Before coming to Birmingham, Webster had served 18 years as executive presbyter of the Presbytery of Sierra Blanca in southern New Mexico. Greg Garrison, AL.com, "Birmingham's First Presbyterian pastor plans to retire," 19 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'presbyter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of presbyter

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for presbyter

Late Latin, elder, priest, from Greek presbyteros, comparative of presbys old man, elder; akin to Greek pro before and Greek bainein to go — more at for, come

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about presbyter

Time Traveler for presbyter

Time Traveler

The first known use of presbyter was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for presbyter

Cite this Entry

“Presbyter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/presbyter. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on presbyter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for presbyter

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about presbyter

Comments on presbyter

What made you want to look up presbyter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!