priest·​hood | \ ˈprēst-ˌhu̇d , ˈprē-ˌstu̇d\

Definition of priesthood

1 : the office, dignity, or character of a priest
2 : the whole body of priests
3 : elite sense 1 the priesthood of the art world

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Examples of priesthood in a Sentence

an ancient civilization that was ruled by a priesthood What is the influence of the priesthood in today's society?

Recent Examples on the Web

Father Greg Galvin, who stood with other priests at the altar, entered the priesthood because of Kunz's example. Jessica Mcbride, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hundreds gather to mourn Fr. Alfred Kunz," 2 Mar. 2018 One man will be ordained into the priesthood in June. Fox News, "Rhode Island seminary has no applicants for fall program," 23 May 2018 The documentary, to be aired Wednesday on Discovery Italia and previewed to The Associated Press, makes the case that many of these men would gladly return to the priesthood and offer their pastoral services. Nicole Winfield, The Seattle Times, "Issue of married Catholic priests gains traction under pope," 23 Oct. 2018 And the Druids, an ancient Celtic priesthood said to walk the line between the gods and mankind, started bringing evergreens into the home around the 8th century, reports The Washington Post. Nicol Natale, Woman's Day, "Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?," 15 Nov. 2018 Pope John Paul II dismissed him from the priesthood after that 2004 conviction. Jeffrey Collins, The Seattle Times, "Former Catholic priest gets 20 years in child rape case," 23 Oct. 2018 The Vatican said Saturday that the pope had dismissed from the priesthood Francisco José Cox Huneeus, an 84-year-old retired archbishop of La Serena, and Marco Antonio Órdenes Fernández, 53, a retired bishop of Iquique. Ryan Dube, WSJ, "Pope Defrocks Chilean Bishops Accused of Sex Abuse," 13 Oct. 2018 More than 100 of the priests are dead, and many others are retired or have been dismissed from the priesthood or put on leave. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: 'Trump effect' felt in Tuesday's primaries; Trump-Omarosa feud heading to court?," 15 Aug. 2018 Wellems belonged to the Claretians Roman Catholic order and resigned from the priesthood early last year. Washington Post, "Ex-priest who abused child allowed access to Chicago schools," 24 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'priesthood.' 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 priesthood

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for priesthood

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

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English Language Learners Definition of priesthood

: the job of being a priest
: a group of priests in a particular religion

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