ves·​try ˈve-strē How to pronounce vestry (audio)
plural vestries
: a room used for church meetings and classes
: the business meeting of an English parish
: an elective body in an Episcopal parish composed of the rector and a group of elected parishioners administering the temporal affairs of the parish

Examples of vestry in a Sentence

the priest returned the chalice to the vestry
Recent Examples on the Web The 36 unique rooms and suites (including six suites in a former vestry across a courtyard) form an opulent oasis in the rustic Umbrian countryside. Jason Horowitz, Town & Country, 16 June 2023 Denise Day, a St. James parish member, said Dr. Griffin was appointed as the church’s first female senior warden of the vestry, the highest lay position. Jacques Kelly, Baltimore Sun, 24 Sep. 2022 Since then, the vestry at St. Mark’s — a board of directors with 12 members who represent the political spectrum, Shumard said — voted unanimously to form a committee to explore hosting a family and take training through Episcopal Migration Ministries. Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2021 Lee was a member of the vestry at the church. Fox News, 13 June 2020 The committee’s recommended deal with Crow got a thumbs-up from the church’s governing vestry. Dallas News, 25 Jan. 2022 After the service, Savannah ducked into the vestry with her new husband and the bridesmaids to sneak in an outfit change. Alexandra MacOn, Vogue, 20 Dec. 2022 Through that church and St. Elisabeth Episcopal Church in Glencoe where the couple later became members, Badger served as warden of the vestry, chairman of various committees, cook for church meals and electrician. Myrna Petlicki,, 26 Oct. 2021 The longtime resident of Sherwood Road in Ruxton was an active communicant at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, serving as a vestry member, junior warden and stewardship chair. Frederick N. Rasmussen,, 21 Feb. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vestry.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English vestrie, probably from Anglo-French *vesterie, alteration of Middle French vestiarie, from Medieval Latin vestiarium, from Latin, cupboard for storing clothes, from vestis garment; from its use as a robing room for the clergy

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of vestry was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near vestry

Cite this Entry

“Vestry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


ves·​try ˈves-trē How to pronounce vestry (audio)
plural vestries
: a room in a church building for sacred furnishings (as vestments)

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