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

Forty Years Ago During a special communion service the Rev. John H. Pruessner was installed the new rector of St. George’s Episcopal Church in LCF. Carol Cormaci, La Cañada Valley Sun, "La Cañada History: LCHS ’75 footballers tackle Mt. Whitney together," 16 Sep. 2019 The rest of the membership is composed of serving judges, representatives of bar associations and the rector of a university. The Economist, "Letting academics pick magistrates has not worked in Guatemala," 25 July 2019 Archer is the former head of a parish in Long Island, Bahamas, and current rector of the Christ Episcopal Church in Miami’s historic Coconut Grove neighborhood, some of whose first settlers hailed from the Bahamas. Washington Post, "Miami’s Bahamian ties inspire relief effort after Dorian," 4 Sep. 2019 Archer is the former head of a parish in Long Island, Bahamas, and current rector of the Christ Episcopal Church in Miami's historic Coconut Grove neighborhood, some of whose first settlers hailed from the Bahamas. CBS News, "Hurricane Dorian moving up East Coast after leaving Bahamas in ruins," 4 Sep. 2019 In the meantime, bishop Patrick Chauvet, Notre-Dame’s rector, expressed a wish to erect a temporary structure for parishioners and to welcome the 13 million visitors who trek to see the historic medieval structure each year. Anne Quito, Quartz, "A design proposal for Notre-Dame reveals the changing function of churches," 3 Aug. 2019 Rumple, who currently serves as rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Greencastle, Ind., will begin serving in Oak Park on Sept. 8. Steve Schering,, "New priest selected to lead Grace Episcopal Church," 30 July 2019 The sanctuary will host 11 weekend Masses in four languages starting Saturday, according to Father Christopher Smith, rector and episcopal vicar of Christ Cathedral. Daily Pilot, "Crystal Cathedral is reborn as Christ Cathedral, the center of O.C. Catholicism," 17 July 2019 O’Grady also served as pastor of Christ the King Roman Catholic Church in Mesa, Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Tempe and St. Daniel the Prophet Roman Catholic Church, in addition to serving as rector of Sts. Claire Rafford, azcentral, "'Filled with God’s compassion and love for us': Community mourns loss of Phoenix priest," 13 July 2019

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

21 Sep 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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rector

Spanish Central: Translation of rector

Nglish: Translation of rector for Spanish Speakers

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formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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