pres·​by·​tery ˈprez-bə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce presbytery (audio)
plural presbyteries
: the part of a church reserved for the officiating clergy
: a ruling body in presbyterian churches consisting of the ministers and representative elders from congregations within a district
: the jurisdiction of a presbytery
: the house of a Roman Catholic parish priest

Examples of presbytery in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After the service, William and Kate headed to the cathedral’s presbytery, where the princess laid a bouquet of flowers in front of a portrait of the queen. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 8 Sep. 2023 In a blog post published Wednesday, Grant recounted how notifications about an active shooter at the school interrupted a presbytery planning meeting that included Chad Scruggs, Covenant Presbyterian Church pastor and father of one of the shooting victims. Joanna Slater,, 29 Mar. 2023 Reports indicate the presbytery doesn’t have a formal security program for its churches and schools but that members have worked together to share best practices and improve safety. Savannah Tryens-Fernandes |, al, 31 Mar. 2023 The church linked to the school is a member of the presbytery, which includes congregations in middle Tennessee and southwestern Kentucky. Travis Loller,, 29 Mar. 2023 On the road into the city from Melbourne, the state capital, the red brick Gothic-like presbytery of St. Alipius immediately stands out. Jacqueline Williams, New York Times, 29 Apr. 2018 After carefully filling an ancient presbytery near France’s Loire Valley with a personal library of no fewer than 35,000 volumes, he was compelled to pack them all up again in preparation for a move to a New York apartment. Ernest Hilbert, WSJ, 13 Apr. 2018 The local presbytery of the Presbyterian Church USA asked its leaders last year to embark on a period of self-assessment. Jonathan M. Pitts, Washington Post, 23 Oct. 2017 See More

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

Word History


Middle English & Late Latin; Middle English presbytory part of church reserved for clergy, from Late Latin presbyterium group of presbyters, part of church reserved for clergy, from Greek presbyterion group of presbyters, from presbyteros elder, priest

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of presbytery was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near presbytery

Cite this Entry

“Presbytery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

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