Definition of rector
1 : one that directs : leader
2a : a member of the clergy (as of the Protestant Episcopal Church) in charge of a parishb : an incumbent of a Church of England benefice in full possession of its rightsc : 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
rectorateplay \-t(ə-)rət\ noun
rectorialplay \rek-ˈtȯr-ē-əl\ adjective
rectorshipplay \ˈrek-tər-ˌship\ noun
Recent Examples of rector from the Web
More than 10,000 panes of the cathedral’s mirrored glass already have been re-caulked and resurfaced, under budget and on schedule, Rev. Christopher Smith, rector and episcopal vicar, told guests at the signing ceremony.
A song set in Teigh is about a World War II rector jailed for being a Fascist.
Sykes, who headed Glaxo Wellcome until its merger last year with SmithKline Beecham to form GlaxoSmithKline PLC, is now rector at Imperial College in London, which has spun off several biotechnology companies.
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.
Origin and Etymology of rector
Middle English, from Latin, from regere to direct — more at right
First Known Use: 14th century
RECTOR Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of rector for English Language Learners
: a priest or minister who is in charge of a church or parish
: a person who is in charge of a university or school
RECTOR Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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