\ ˈprēst \

Definition of priest

: one authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion especially as a mediatory agent between humans and God specifically : an Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, or Roman Catholic clergyman ranking below a bishop and above a deacon

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Examples of priest in a Sentence

He was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest. searched for a priest who could perform an exorcism

Recent Examples on the Web

More than 50 Parsis, including priests wearing traditional white robes and hats and women wearing headscarves, turned up at the Bombay High Court during a hearing in July. Corinne Abrams, WSJ, "‘You Have to Actually Cut Open Mumbai’s Belly’—Inside One of the World’s Most Audacious Transit Projects," 6 Jan. 2019 According to local lore, buried in the foundation of its magnificent blue-tiled El Ghriba synagogue are a stone and a door carried from Jerusalem by Hebrew priests fleeing the wreckage of the First or Second Temple. Leslie Camhi, ELLE Decor, "Inside the World's Most Beautiful Synagogues," 5 Nov. 2018 Archdiocese Chancellor Diane Barr said priests have asked to marry 50 couples in venues such as hotels and museums, and Barr's office has approved all the requests. Julie Zauzmer, ajc, "Why there are only two places where Catholics can get married outdoors," 11 June 2018 The elderly priest loses his temper and slaps the child. Alexia Fernandez,, "French Priest Who Slapped a Baby During a Baptism Identified and Suspended from Church Duties," 22 June 2018 The priest quickly sliced into the captive's torso and removed his still-beating heart. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Feeding the gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of human sacrifice in Aztec capital," 21 June 2018 If someone were dying, the priest would bring it to their house. Liz Raiss, GQ, "Younger’s Nico Tortorella on Nightstand Crystals, Edible Detox Charcoal, and Doing a Lot of Mushrooms in His Apartment," 6 June 2018 But the most powerful antidote to my irrationality came from a surprising source: an 18th-century English priest named Reverend Thomas Bayes. Liv Boeree, Vox, "How an 18th-century priest gave us the tools to make better decisions," 30 Nov. 2018 The trailer has everything your abuela loves to talk about, including a priest offering grave omens, and a woman wailing in aggrieved Spanglish. Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue, ""The Curse of Lla Llorona" Trailer Is 2 Minutes and 15 Seconds of Mexican Folklore Terror," 18 Oct. 2018

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

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First Known Use of priest

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for priest

Middle English preist, from Old English prēost, ultimately from Late Latin presbyter — more at presbyter

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Statistics for priest

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for priest

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

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More Definitions for priest



English Language Learners Definition of priest

: a person who has the authority to lead or perform ceremonies in some religions and especially in some Christian religions


\ ˈprēst \

Kids Definition of priest

: a person who has the authority to lead or perform religious ceremonies

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More from Merriam-Webster on priest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with priest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for priest

Spanish Central: Translation of priest

Nglish: Translation of priest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of priest for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about priest

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