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

Examples of rector in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Don Menendez will serve as the chair of the search committee to find the Advent’s next dean and rector. al, "Advent Cathedral dean steps down due to ‘tension’ in denomination," 5 May 2021 Part of the effort involves children in the church helping prepare and distribute food using smaller boxes to help children in Oakland County who are in need, said the Rev. Chris Yaw, the church rector. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, "After year of COVID-19, Easter Sunday offers hope for the faithful in Michigan," 4 Apr. 2021 Students and faculty at Istanbul's Bogazici University have been demonstrating regularly since January against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's appointment of a new rector who has links to Turkey's ruling party. Washington Post, "World Digest: March 26, 2021," 26 Mar. 2021 Both will continue, says Diaz, rector of downtown Salt Lake City’s Cathedral of the Madeleine. The Salt Lake Tribune, "How will we worship — whether Catholic, LDS, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim or Protestant — after COVID?," 20 Mar. 2021 The former rector of the seminary, the Rev. Enrico Radice, is charged with having helped Martinelli avoid investigators by discrediting L.G.'s allegations as baseless. Nicole Winfield, Star Tribune, "Ex-Vatican altar boy testifies in seminary sex abuse trial," 17 Mar. 2021 Zevallos, who oversaw Ecuador's approach to the pandemic, came under fire after it was revealed the Health Ministry had invited a university rector to receive a vaccine before health workers and the elderly. Ana Maria Cañizares And Stefano Pozzebon, CNN, "Ecuador's health minister resigns after vaccine access scandal," 26 Feb. 2021 Traditionally, the university academics elect the rector, who controls much of the life in the university, from their own ranks. New York Times, "Prestigious Istanbul University Fights Erdogan’s Reach," 1 Feb. 2021 And a video led by the rector of Norway's University of Agder attempts to apologize to Ferrell by removing anything else from the country that might offend him and, in the process, points out everything the U.S. doesn't have. Jonathon Ramsey, Car and Driver, "Scandinavian YouTube Responds to GM's Will Ferrell Super Bowl Ad," 8 Feb. 2021

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

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rector.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for rector



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) \

Kids Definition of rector

: pastor

More from Merriam-Webster on rector

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rector

Nglish: Translation of rector for Spanish Speakers

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