\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

The compound had two main buildings - the church and the priest's quarters - separated by a courtyard. Joshua Partlow,, "Inside the church where Nicaraguan paramilitaries laid siege on university students," 14 July 2018 Plevrakis has been priest of the parish, which has about 110 families, since he was assigned there Oct. 8, 2017. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Organizers report better-than-expected turnout for first night of 12th annual Greek Festival in Bel Air," 16 June 2018 For the first time in Denver history, newspapers said then, a layperson’s dead body lay in state in a Catholic church, an honor then reserved for priests and bishops and others of high holy order. Meagan Flynn, ajc, "Former slave, on possible path to sainthood, to be entombed in Denver cathedral," 4 June 2018 During a visit to Chile in January, Francis strongly defended a bishop, Juan Barros, who was accused by victims of Chile’s most notorious predator priest of having witnessed and ignored their abuse. Nicole Winfield,, "Chilean bishops open to resignations, reparations for clergy abuse," 15 May 2018 The hens are the Roman Catholic priest's way of bringing country living and fresh eggs to the city. Phillip Morris,, "Priest nearly killed in ambush robbery still bullish on Collinwood: Phillip Morris," 8 Apr. 2018 An investigation by the USA TODAY Network's Pacific Daily News unearthed allegations of decades of assault, manipulation and intimidation by several priests of children reared on this remote, predominantly Catholic U.S. territory. Pacific Daily News, "Guam archbishop guilty of sexual abuse, exiled from island, Vatican tribunal rules," 16 Mar. 2018 The priest's mummy was also found decorated with blue and red beads and bronze gilded sheets. Fernando Alfonso Iii, Houston Chronicle, "Storm uncovers ancient forest and wreckage in England," 6 Mar. 2018 Investigators would not comment on reports that the priest's throat had been cut. Amy Rinard, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Fr. Alfred Kunz bled to death; 30 investigators in Dane handle tips, check robbery theory," 2 Mar. 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

22 Oct 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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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