vic·​ar | \ˈvi-kər \

Definition of vicar 

1 : an ecclesiastical agent: such as

a : a Church of England incumbent receiving a stipend but not the tithes of a parish

b : a member of the Episcopal clergy or laity who has charge of a mission or chapel

c : a member of the clergy who exercises a broad pastoral responsibility as the representative of a prelate

2 : one serving as a substitute or agent specifically : an administrative deputy

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Other Words from vicar

vicarship \ ˈvi-​kər-​ˌship \ noun

Examples of vicar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Stepping in to fill the gap: Tom Brittney, who’ll play the Reverend Will Davenport, the new resident vicar of the village and the new crime-solving partner to Robson Green’s Geordie Keating. Matthew Gilbert,, "‘Grantchester’ will go on without James Norton," 29 June 2018 The only appointments that could be considered routine were those of Archbishop Luis Ladaria, head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, and Archbishop Angelo De Donatis, who as vicar of Rome leads the diocese in the name of the pope. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Pope Francis Continues to Boost Diversity in College of Cardinals," 20 May 2018 Alexa is not equipped to handle thorny theological debate; that will remain the job of the vicars in the Church of England’s 12,600 parishes. The Economist, "Alexa, who is God? A new app aims to win over agnostics," 23 May 2018 Another Italian to be made cardinal is a Rome vicar general, Monsignor Angelo De Donatis. Frances D'emilio, USA TODAY, "Pope Francis to create 14 new cardinals in June," 20 May 2018 He is joined by parochial vicar the Rev. Philip Ilg, who arrived at St. Mary’s on his 30th birthday in 2016 for his first priestly assignment, and who leads the youth group and plays guitar. Mary Schneidau Sullivan, Laurel Leader, "A church with staying power," 19 Apr. 2018 Timothy Kitzke, vicar general of urban ministries as well as co-pastor of multiple parishes in Milwaukee. Clara Hatcher, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Father, son follow different paths, same calling to become Catholic priests," 30 Mar. 2018 Conservatives in the United States and Europe wrung their hands trying to square how Christ’s vicar on Earth could seemingly condone adultery under the guise of mercy. Nicole Winfield,, "Over five years, pope produces major shift in church culture," 12 Mar. 2018 After the Black Plague struck the village of Eyam in England, the vicar William Mompesson persuaded its several hundred inhabitants not to flee, to prevent the disease from spreading to other villages. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "In Epidemics, Leaders Play a Crucial Role," 8 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vicar.' 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 vicar

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for vicar

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin vicarius, from vicarius vicarious

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Dictionary Entries near vicar







vicar apostolic

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The first known use of vicar was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of vicar

: a priest in the Church of England who is in charge of a particular church and the area around it

: a pastor's assistant in an Episcopalian or Lutheran church


vic·​ar | \ˈvi-kər \

Kids Definition of vicar

: a minister in charge of a church who serves under the authority of another minister

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What made you want to look up vicar? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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