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

When Garcia began his 13-year assignment as rector of San Fernando, the cathedral had cracks in the walls and ceilings, and a dome in danger of collapse. Scott Huddleston,, "Father David’s role grew from San Antonio parish priest to major community leader," 8 July 2019 Notre Dame’s rector told a local radio station that fire monitors check the wooden roof three times a day, the New York Times reports. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Many historic icons face same threats as Notre Dame," 16 Apr. 2019 Father Nyein, 29, is an Episcopal priest and serves as the associate rector of Grace Church. New York Times, "Michael Waterson, Zachary Nyein," 24 June 2018 Along the way, Wili and Miller made many friends and the rector hoped to tap into that well for the current drive. Kim Chatelain,, "Covington priest takes off on televangelist Jesse Duplantis' $54 million drive to buy jet," 31 May 2018 Hebrew University has thrown its support behind Alqasem, with the rector, Prof. Fox News, "US graduate student detained in Israel for alleged pro-Palestinian boycott support," 9 Oct. 2018 Her first wedding was presided over by longtime St. Louis Cathedral rector Pere Antoine. Mike Scott,, "Marie Laveau, Voodoo queen of New Orleans: 1 of 300," 13 Feb. 2018 Among those at the event was the Rev. Alison Quin, rector of Christ the King Episcopal Church in Stone Ridge, New York. David Crary, The Seattle Times, "Episcopal Church confronts past role in sexual exploitation," 15 Oct. 2018 The decree eliminates the need for university presidents, or rectors, to be selected from among professors. Cagan Koc,, "Erdogan diminishes requirements for top posts in Turkey," 11 July 2018

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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Statistics for rector

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for rector

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on rector

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rector

Spanish Central: Translation of rector

Nglish: Translation of rector for Spanish Speakers

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something desired as essential

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