\ ˈprēst How to pronounce priest (audio) \
plural priests

Definition of priest

: someone who is 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 clergyperson ranking below a bishop and above a deacon

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 One of the show’s first episodes showed a priest and a rabbi co-officiating the characters’ wedding. Washington Post, 6 May 2022 Her father, Patrick Brontë, was a priest and author who eventually settled with his family in clergy housing in Haworth, where the Brontë sisters wrote most of their work and which now houses the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Carlie Porterfield, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 Among those who stopped by was Salvador Cisneros, a prominent Catholic priest and Zeta columnist. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Apr. 2022 Vázquez played a Mexican priest and brother-in-law to the Sandoval Rach patriarch, Father Ramos. Mónica Marie Zorrilla, Variety, 11 Apr. 2022 Clements also became the first American priest to adopt a child and wound-up raising four sons. NBC News, 27 Apr. 2022 As for the other two instances — in De Oreo's office and the joke — the priest denied the scenarios happened. Mj Slaby, The Indianapolis Star, 19 Apr. 2022 Sule Ambrose, 25, was a first-year student at the Claratian Institute of Philosophy and was taking classes to become a priest when the horrific incident happened, according to the BBC. Adam Sabes, Fox News, 17 Apr. 2022 The priest stashed away his robes and did his best to stay out of sight. Time, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About priest

Time Traveler for priest

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near priest




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for priest

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Priest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for priest


\ ˈprēst How to pronounce priest (audio) \

Kids Definition of priest

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

More from Merriam-Webster on priest

Nglish: Translation of priest for Spanish Speakers

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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