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A cleric who directs the choral services of a church or cathedral.

[Latin praecentor, from praecentus, past participle of praecinere, to sing before : prae-, pre- + canere, to sing; see kan- in Indo-European roots.]

pre′cen·to′ri·al (prē′sĕn-tôr′ē-əl) adj.


1. (Ecclesiastical Terms) a cleric who directs the choral services in a cathedral
2. (Ecclesiastical Terms) a person who leads a congregation or choir in the sung parts of church services
[C17: from Late Latin praecentor leader of the music, from prae before + canere to sing]
precentorial adj
preˈcentorˌship n


(prɪˈsɛn tər)

a person who leads a church choir or congregation in singing.
[1605–15; < Late Latin praecentor leader in music, derivative of Latin praecen-, variant s. of praecinere to lead in singing]


a person who leads a church choir or congregation in singing.
See also: Church
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.precentor - the musical director of a choirprecentor - the musical director of a choir  
musician - artist who composes or conducts music as a profession


[prɪˈsentəʳ] Nchantre m


nVorsänger(in) m(f), → Präzentor(in) m(f) (spec)
References in classic literature ?
postulants, scribes, gooroos, precentors, beadles, fakeers, sextons,
The cries of the sheep upon the neighbouring hills, the streamlets upon either hand, one loudly singing among pebbles, the other dripping furtively from pond to pond, the stir of the wind in mountainous old flowering chestnuts, and once in seven days the voice of the bell and the old tunes of the precentor, were the only sounds that disturbed the silence around the rural church.
For instance: I should have put in the foreground your being so much respected as Lay Precentor, or Lay Clerk, or whatever you call it, of this Cathedral; your enjoying the reputation of having done such wonders with the choir; your choosing your society, and holding such an independent position in this queer old place; your gift of teaching (why, even Pussy, who don't like being taught, says there never was such a Master as you are