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 During his inauguration as rector of Glasgow University in 1972, the Clydeside trade unionist Jimmy Reid argued powerfully that working-class communities left behind by economic advancement were being stored out of sight. Sam Rigby, Quartz, "The Scottish city trying to make urban living less miserable," 2 Nov. 2019 The congregation is seeking atonement for the history of their church, whose first rector, Charles Ridgely Howard, was part of this slave-owning family. Jonathan Pitts,, "In slavery, her family was owned by his. Now they attend a Baltimore church seeking to atone for its past.," 12 Sep. 2019 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

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

16 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Rector.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for rector


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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rector

Spanish Central: Translation of rector

Nglish: Translation of rector for Spanish Speakers

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