pres·​by·​ter ˈprez-bə-tər How to pronounce presbyter (audio)
: a member of the governing body of an early Christian church
: a member of the order of priests in churches having episcopal hierarchies that include bishops, priests, and deacons
prez-ˈbi-tə-rət How to pronounce presbyter (audio)

Examples of presbyter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This would be the case also for an apostate, heretic, schismatic bishop, presbyter, or deacon. Fr. Goran Jovicic, National Review, 13 June 2021 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, 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,, 19 July 2017

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near presbyter

Cite this Entry

“Presbyter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


pres·​by·​ter ˈprez-bət-ər How to pronounce presbyter (audio)
: a member of the governing body of an early Christian church

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