rec·​tor | \ ˈrek-tər How to pronounce rector (audio) \

Definition of rector

1 : one that directs : leader
2a : a member of the clergy (as of the Protestant Episcopal Church) in charge of a parish
b : an incumbent of a Church of England benefice in full possession of its rights
c : a Roman Catholic priest directing a church with no pastor or one whose pastor has other duties
3 : the head of a university or school

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Other Words from rector

rectorate \ ˈrek-​t(ə-​)rət How to pronounce rectorate (audio) \ noun
rectorial \ rek-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​əl How to pronounce rectorial (audio) \ adjective
rectorship \ ˈrek-​tər-​ˌship How to pronounce rectorship (audio) \ noun

Examples of rector in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Fisher, 44, became the rector of St. John's in June 2019, and has not yet hosted a presidential visit. Author: Michelle Boorstein, Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Everything he has said and done is to inflame violence’: Bishop criticizes Trump’s church visit," 2 June 2020 Yevgeny Bazhanov, now retired, was a longtime professor and for some years the rector of the Diplomatic Academy, which trains Russian diplomats. Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor, "Trust deficit: The roots of Russia’s standoff with the West," 29 Apr. 2020 In the intervening years he was ordained a priest and became the rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Jackson Heights, Queens. New York Times, "Antonio Checo, Episcopal Priest Who Stressed Service, Dies at 67," 14 Apr. 2020 And another case involves a Loudoun County man in his 40s who tested positive and had attended services at Christ Church in Georgetown, where both the rector and the organist were also diagnosed with the virus. Fenit Nirappil, Washington Post, "D.C. church says health officials expanding self-quarantine recommendation," 11 Mar. 2020 All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills began canceling services March 8 after its rector, the Rev. Janet Broderick, fell ill. Los Angeles Times, "Pentecostal church in Sacramento linked to dozens of coronavirus cases," 2 Apr. 2020 Washington — Health officials in the District of Columbia have urged attendees of a prominent church to self-quarantine after its rector tested positive for the coronavirus. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "D.C. churchgoers urged to self-quarantine after rector diagnosed with coronavirus," 9 Mar. 2020 All Saints’ in Beverly Hills was one of the first large Episcopal churches with a female rector. Los Angeles Times, "Over Lent, this Beverly Hills priest battled coronavirus: ‘I didn’t know what plans Jesus had for me’," 5 Apr. 2020 Over that weekend, more cases emerged, including the first positive test for covid-19 in the District — a rector at a prominent Georgetown church, which has since been connected to several other patients. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, "The number of covid-19 cases in the D.C. region is doubling every 48 hours," 13 Mar. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rector

Middle English, from Latin, from regere to direct — more at right

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Time Traveler for rector

Time Traveler

The first known use of rector was in the 14th century

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Statistics for rector

Last Updated

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rector.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce rector (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rector

: a priest or minister who is in charge of a church or parish
chiefly British : a person who is in charge of a university or school


rec·​tor | \ ˈrek-tər How to pronounce rector (audio) \

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rector

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rector

Spanish Central: Translation of rector

Nglish: Translation of rector for Spanish Speakers

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