• WordNet 3.6
    • n priest a clergyman in Christian churches who has the authority to perform or administer various religious rites; one of the Holy Orders
    • n priest a person who performs religious duties and ceremonies in a non-Christian religion
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Priest's door and Norman Chancel Ripley Church Priest's door and Norman Chancel Ripley Church
The priest attacks a statue with a spear The priest attacks a statue with a spear
Hannibal requesting the Cretan Priests to become his Bankers Hannibal requesting the Cretan Priests to become his Bankers

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: High Priests in ancient Egypt were the only ones who were allowed to wear garments made from cotton
    • Priest A presbyter elder; a minister
    • Priest (Christian Church) A presbyter; one who belongs to the intermediate order between bishop and deacon. He is authorized to perform all ministerial services except those of ordination and confirmation.
    • Priest (Christian Church) One who is authorized to consecrate the host and to say Mass; but especially, one of the lowest order possessing this power.
    • Priest One who officiates at the altar, or performs the rites of sacrifice; one who acts as a mediator between men and the divinity or the gods in any form of religion; as, Buddhist priests . "The priests of Dagon.""Then the priest of Jupiter . . . brought oxen and garlands . . . and would have done sacrifice with the people.""Every priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins."
    • v. t Priest To ordain as priest.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The town of Olney, Illinois celebrates a "Squirrel Day" festival to honour the 200 albino squirrels that live in the town. The festival includes a squirrel blessing by a priest
    • n priest One who is duly authorized to be a minister of sacred things; one whose stated duty it is to perform, on behalf of the community, certain public religious acts, particularly religious sacrifices.
    • n priest One who is ordained to the pastoral or sacerdotal office; a presbyter; an elder. In Wyclif the word priest is used where in Tyndale and the authorized version the word elder is used; for example, “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest reforme the things that are wanting, and shouldest ordaine priestes [presbyters, πρεσβυτέρους; authorized version elders] by cities as I also appointed thee” (Titus i. 5).
    • n priest Specifically, in hierarchical churches, the second in rank in the clerical orders, between bishop and deacon. Etymologically, the word priest is a derivative or modification of the word presbyter. As, however, the office of the presbyterate has been regarded in the Christian church from primitive or early times as a sacerdotal office in so far as it confers power to celebrate the eucharist and to confer absolution, and as no church officer below a presbyter can exercise these functions, and all above a presbyter continue to exercise them in virtue of their ordination as presbyters, the title of presbyter and that of sacerdos or ἰερευις (sacrificing priest) soon came to be regarded as synonymous, and either one or the other of these titles to be preferred in popular use in different languages, to the exclusion of its synonym. The title of priest (ἱερεύς, sacerdos) was in the early church given by preeminence to the bishop (specifically the high priest) as ordinary celebrant of the eucharist in cities and the fountain of sacerdotal authority. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that it is the office of a priest “to offer, bless, rule, preach, and baptize.” These same offices are assigned to priests in the Orthodox Greek and other Oriental churches and in the Anglican Church. In the church last named the form of ordination gives authority to forgive or retain sins and be a dispenser of the word and sacraments, and only priests (including bishops as in priest's orders) can give benediction, pronounce absolution, and consecrate the eucharist.
    • n priest A breed of domestic pigeons, in four different color-varieties, black, blue, red, and yellow.
    • n priest A mark composed of two concentric circles, used as a private stamp, a brand for cattle, and the like in England.
    • n priest In the early Christian church, a bishop.
    • n priest A member of an order in the Mormon Church ranking among the higher orders. See Mormon.
    • n priest See the adjectives.
    • priest To ordain to the priesthood; make a priest of.
    • priest To hold the office or exercise the functions of a priest.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In ancient Egypt, Priests plucked every hair from their bodies including their eyebrows and eyelashes
    • n Priest prēst one who offers sacrifices or officiates in sacred offices: a minister above a deacon and below a bishop: a clergyman
    • ***


  • Aldous Huxley
    “But a priest's life is not supposed to be well-rounded; it is supposed to be one-pointed -- a compass, not a weathercock.”
  • Oscar Wilde
    “It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.”
  • Gore Vidal
    “Writing fiction has become a priestly business in countries that have lost their faith.”
  • Desiderius Erasmus
    “The entire world is my temple, and a very fine one too, if I'm not mistaken, and I'll never lack priests to serve it as long as there are men.”
  • Virginia Woolf
    “Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends.”
  • D. H. Lawrence
    “I shall always be a priest of love.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. prest, preost, AS. preóst, fr. L. presbyter, Gr. elder, older, n., an elder, compar. of an old man, the first syllable of which is probably akin to L. pristinus,. Cf. Pristine Presbyter
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. preóst (O. Fr. prestre, Fr. prêtre)—L. presbyter, an elder.


In literature:

Again their head priest gave an order; from another side a second detachment of armed men came on.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, June, 1930" by Various
The priest does everything in it; even the singing of Psalms is done by choirs of priests.
"History of Religion" by Allan Menzies
But even the high priest, it would seem, must have been not above personal resentment.
"Two Thousand Miles Below" by Charles Willard Diffin
At that look from the pagan priest the white priest shrank and covered his face with the cowl.
"The Flute of the Gods" by Marah Ellis Ryan
Man's dread of fire has been artfully seized upon by the priests.
"Flowers of Freethought" by George W. Foote
You know, Don Jorge said priests were a bad lot; but that isn't so, for there are many good priests, aren't there?
"Carmen Ariza" by Charles Francis Stocking
When a Protestant child does go to a priest on such a mission, what can the priest do but accept him?
"The Landleaguers" by Anthony Trollope
But the priest's hand touched his arm, and the priest's voice, low and gentle, stayed him.
"The Missourian" by Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle
There he would meet the gentry, sometimes even the priest.
"Absolution" by Clara Viebig
The priests shall deal with thee!
"Astounding Stories, July, 1931" by Various

In poetry:

But the other, touched with grace,
Saw the danger of his case;
Faith received to own the Lord,
Whom the scribes and priests abhorred.
"The Two Malefactors" by John Newton
"That then he named to the priest
What he had seen in Seäm's caves,
For he had reach'd them in a ship
When that calm was on the waves !
"The Prophetess Of The Oracle Of Seam" by Anne Bannerman
Far in the distance bugles blow,
War's bloody memory wakes.
The priest prays on--for his sons that are dead,
And the heart within him breaks.
"In A Shinto Temple Garden" by Cale Young Rice
That seeks a lone, far shore.
Dead Priest! bless from amid the blest,
The hearts that will guard thy place of rest,
Forever, forever, forever more.
"In Memoriam (Father Keeler)" by Abram Joseph Ryan
The priest and thou art praying now,
For thy poor soul, before 'tis gone,
When suddenly, with crashing force,
The door descends - the bolt is drawn.
"Louis Riel" by Thomas Frederick Young
The day-dream fades, and so I try
    Again to catch the tune that brings
No thought of temple or of priest,
    But only of a voice that sings.
"At Home from Church" by Sarah Orne Jewett

In news:

Horror Rod Lott Immediately, I understood why 1986's "Killer Party" enjoys such a cult following: The unconventional slasher opens with a stereotypical flaming priest quoting "The Wizard of Oz" as he presides over a funeral.
Patrick A Heelan, a Roman Catholic priest.
In recent decades, more than 10,000 children were reportedly sexually abused by Catholic priests.
What's happened with the Cultrera family and the priests and issues in this story.
In recent decades, more than 10,000 children were reportedly sexually abused by Catholic priests in the United States.
Diary of a Country Priest.
The high priest of runaway college tuition.
Apple is a new religion, and Steve Jobs was its high priest .
High priest of patriotism.
Monsignor William Lynn was accused of failing to keep dangerous priests away from minors.
Jesuit priest and former USF professor Donald McGuire with one of his alleged victims in Walnut Creek in 1982.
Emanuel Nartey, a priest from Ghana, and Rev.
New victims claim priest abuse.
Tim was a Catholic priest and a great guy.
A priest and scientist, he's finally won approval for a pilot program.

In science:

There is not much that is problematic about the justification of beliefs obtained by deductive inference (though there are plenty of problems that surround deduction — see [Kyburg, 1958, Haack, 1976, Dummett, 1978], not to mention the voluminous literature on paraconsistent logic [Priest, 1989]).
Evaluating Defaults
This kernel is equivalent to the Bartlett-Priestly kernel in and corresponds to the quadratic spectral lag-window in .
Multivariate Lag-Windows and Group Representations
An interpretation of the heating distribution of the observed loops in terms of apex concentrated heating (Reale 2002), footpoint concentrated heating (Aschwanden 2001b) and uniform heating (Priest et al. 1998) has been given.
The role of torsional Alfven waves in coronal heating
Priest and Forbes () have stressed that even if fast Petschek reconnection is possible it will still be necessary to demonstrate “that it will apply to the turbulent MHD regime”.
Physics of Gamma-Ray Bursts: Turbulence, Energy Transfer and Reconnection
It depends on the intricate details of the reconnection process and, in particular, is intimately related to the so-called reconnectiontrigger, or sudden-onset, problem, very well known in studies of flares in solar physics (Priest, 1984).
Magnetic Interaction between Stars and Accretion Disks