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

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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

Baptized a Catholic, the faith of his family's Missouri owners, Tolton studied for the priesthood in Rome because his race precluded his acceptance to a U.S. seminary. Fox News, "US’ first black priest, an ex-slave, may be on his way to sainthood," 13 June 2019 After leaving the priesthood and his academic career, his focus became Samaritan House and its range of social services for the area’s needy. John Horgan, The Mercury News, "Horgan: Local 2019 National Merit Scholarship winners announced," 13 June 2019 Only in 1978 did leaders of the church open the priesthood to black people, and admit black people to the supremely sacred religious rituals known as ordinances. Erasmus, The Economist, "Overcoming the Mormon legacy on race," 24 July 2019 Central banking used to be a monetary priesthood supposedly above politics. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Politician for the European Central Bank," 2 July 2019 When the last of the Anglican ecclesiastical refugees dies, if no change has been made in the meantime, the Catholic priesthood of the Western or Latin rite will go back to being entirely celibate. Erasmus, The Economist, "Why Pope Francis may open the door to married priests," 18 June 2019 The Tabernacle was built, and, in the Book of Leviticus, the laws of the priesthood and Torah ethics are given. Rabbi Avi Weiss,, "Apparent temporary situations can become true tests of resolve," 24 June 2019 The next year, the church defrocked Father Geoghan and removed him from the priesthood. New York Times, "Maryetta Dussourd, 74, Dies; Raised Early Alarm on Abusive Priests," 3 June 2019 One occasional visitor to Alma College in the 1950s was a young student based a mile away at Sacred Heart, who was considering a career in the priesthood, future California Gov. Jerry Brown. Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, "New redwood park opening 15 miles from downtown San Jose," 7 June 2019

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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Statistics for priesthood

Last Updated

12 Sep 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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Comments on priesthood

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


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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