rev·​er·​end | \ ˈrev-rənd How to pronounce reverend (audio) , ˈre-və-; ˈre-vərnd \

Definition of reverend

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : worthy of reverence : revered
2a : of or relating to the clergy
b : being a member of the clergy used as a title the Reverend Mr. Doethe Reverend John Doethe Reverend Mrs. Jane Doe



Definition of reverend (Entry 2 of 2)

: a member of the clergy sometimes used in plural as a title

Synonyms & Antonyms for reverend

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of reverend in a Sentence

Adjective our reverend elders should be accorded a special place of honor at the ceremonies Noun called their reverend and asked if he could marry them next June
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective There before the reverend mother and God, the police (wielding rifles) and the butchers (wielding a cow trailer) managed to corral two of the steers. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 13 Mar. 2022 Dickens was a great admirer of a reverend philosopher of that name, often carrying around a copy of Smith's Elementary Sketches of Moral Philosophy. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 10 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The reverend and her team came up with the idea of the spiritual care cart. Byalex Stone, ABC News, 13 May 2022 Someone from the town’s board of trustees spoke, then a local reverend, then a gas-station owner, then the town president’s wife, then another gas-station owner, then a representative from the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH coalition. New York Times, 13 Apr. 2022 Toward the end of the sermon, the reverend looked again toward the sky as the rain had begun. Alex Putterman, Hartford Courant, 9 Apr. 2022 Brown has a ball with his peacocking reverend, but Hall brings real pain and pathos to the film (which also premiered at Sundance, and is due in theaters this September) as a loyal church wife whose faith will be severely tested. Leah Greenblatt,, 18 Mar. 2022 The family's reverend, Marilyn Miller, also spoke at the event and said Thomas was a good person, who had flaws just like everyone else. Drake Bentley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 Mar. 2022 Mandy Moore made her leading role debut in the 2002 romance film as Jamie Sullivan, the ostracized teenage daughter of a reverend. Jessica Wang,, 25 Jan. 2022 Hardin’s name is on a sign outside the church that describes him as a reverend, according to the court filing. Dennis Romero, NBC News, 15 Jan. 2022 And when the reverend’s daughter, Aretha Franklin, once New Bethel Baptist’s star choir soloist, died in 2018, thousands lined up for a viewing of her body there. New York Times, 22 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reverend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of reverend


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1608, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for reverend


Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin reverendus, gerundive of reverērī "to stand in awe of, revere entry 1"


derivative of reverend entry 1

Learn More About reverend

Time Traveler for reverend

Time Traveler

The first known use of reverend was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near reverend




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for reverend

Cite this Entry

“Reverend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for reverend


rev·​er·​end | \ ˈre-və-rənd How to pronounce reverend (audio) , ˈrev-rənd \

Kids Definition of reverend

1 : worthy of honor and respect
2 used as a title for a member of the clergy the Reverend John Doethe Reverend Jane Doe

More from Merriam-Webster on reverend

Nglish: Translation of reverend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reverend for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about reverend


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!