priest·​hood | \ ˈprēst-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce priesthood (audio) , 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

Keep scrolling for more

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 McCarrick was stripped of his rank as a cardinal and removed from the priesthood after the Vatican confirmed other allegations of abuse against him. CBS News, 3 Sep. 2021 He is also expected to return in December when the parish celebrates the 40th anniversary of his ordination into the priesthood, announced Patti Nowak of the St. Paul Pastoral Council. Jennifer Johnson,, 13 July 2021 In other words, Korach’s group was racked by dissension from within, with each person wanting the priesthood for himself. Rabbi Avi Weiss,, 7 June 2021 Koesel spent time in Latin America as part of a Cleveland Diocese mission team, taught English as a second language in Los Angeles, and took a leave of absence from the priesthood in 2005 to be a dealer at a Las Vegas casino. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland, 3 Aug. 2021 The seminary currently has 11 men studying for the priesthood and the pipeline of recruits is likely to close because of changes in the worldwide church and in Poland, including the inability of seminarians to transfer. John Wisely, Detroit Free Press, 1 July 2021 Forty-three years ago this week, the church announced an end to the priesthood and temple ban that had limited Black members from full participation in the faith. David Noyce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 June 2021 Eight men will be ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley on Saturday morning., 21 May 2021 Under pressure from the Vatican, submits a letter formally requesting to leave the priesthood. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 23 June 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of priesthood

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About priesthood

Time Traveler for priesthood

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near priesthood

priest hole


priesthood of all believers

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for priesthood

Last Updated

12 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Priesthood.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for priesthood



English Language Learners Definition of priesthood

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

More from Merriam-Webster on priesthood

Nglish: Translation of priesthood for Spanish Speakers

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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