\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

There are many who dislike Pfleger, the white radical leftist priest and pastor of a large black congregation. John Kass,, "Father Mike's shutdown of Dan Ryan aimed directly at Mayor Emanuel," 5 July 2018 The monumental rings of Stonehenge and similar sites were long thought unique to the British Isles, where Bronze Age priests and worshippers marked astronomical events, celebrated the passing of seasons, and buried their elites. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "Rituals performed at this German ‘Stonehenge’ may link mysterious monument to its U.K. counterpart," 28 June 2018 These babies were allegedly sold for adoption and involved a wide network of doctors, nurses, nuns and priests, according to AFP. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "Spain to Begin the First Ever Franco-Era 'Stolen Babies' Trial," 26 June 2018 Nuns and priests were often complicit in the thefts. James Badcock,, "Obstetrician's trial could unlock secrets of Spain's stolen babies scandal," 25 June 2018 The Archdiocese of Baltimore began testing a new policy in February that allows priests and deacons to request to marry a couple somewhere other than their parish church. Julie Zauzmer, ajc, "Why there are only two places where Catholics can get married outdoors," 11 June 2018 But with the other two resignations, Francis is making clear that the troubles in Chile’s church do not rest on Barros’ shoulders alone, or on those of the more than 40 other priests and three other bishops trained by the Rev. Fernando Karadima. Nicole Winfield,, "Pope begins purge in Chilean church over sex abuse scandal," 11 June 2018 Under the noon blaze a white-whiskered priest and a troupe of young women in red saris murmur, sing and place cups made of folded leaves at the base of the rock, which is covered on both sides with inscriptions. The Economist, "Stone-carving villagers make Indian officials jittery," 7 June 2018 That city’s military park has a bust of the priest and a plaque dedicated in 2006 about his sacrifice in the water. Bill Leukhardt, Courant Community, "Waterbury Hero Priest Was Always Considered A Saint; Now Some Want To Make It Official," 28 May 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

5 Nov 2018

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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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Comments on priest

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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