sta·​rets ˈstär-əts How to pronounce starets (audio)
plural startsy ˈstärt-sē How to pronounce starets (audio)
: a spiritual director or religious teacher in the Eastern Orthodox Church
specifically : a spiritual adviser who is not necessarily a priest, who is recognized for his piety, and who is turned to by monks or laymen for spiritual guidance

Word History


Russian, from staryĭ old — more at stour

First Known Use

1729, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of starets was in 1729

Dictionary Entries Near starets

Cite this Entry

“Starets.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

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