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 (prĕz′bĭ-tər, prĕs′-)
1. A priest in various hierarchical churches.
2. An elder in the Presbyterian Church.

[Late Latin, from Greek presbuteros, from comparative of presbus, old man; see per in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Ecclesiastical Terms)
a. an elder of a congregation in the early Christian Church
b. (in some Churches having episcopal politics) an official who is subordinate to a bishop and has administrative, teaching, and sacerdotal functions
2. (Ecclesiastical Terms) (in some hierarchical Churches) another name for priest
3. (Protestantism) (in the Presbyterian Church)
a. a teaching elder
b. a ruling elder
[C16: from Late Latin, from Greek presbuteros an older man, from presbus old man]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈprɛz bɪ tər, ˈprɛs-)

1. (in the early Christian church) an office bearer who exercised teaching, priestly, and administrative functions.
2. (in hierarchical churches) a priest.
3. an elder in a Presbyterian church.
[1590–1600; < Late Latin: older, elder, presbyter < Greek presbýteros=présby(s) old + -teros comp. suffix]
pres•byt′er•al (-ˈbɪt ər əl) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.presbyter - an elder in the Presbyterian Churchpresbyter - an elder in the Presbyterian Church
elder - any of various church officers
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The leaders of the community were not "the church," but the apostles, bishops, presbyters and elders.
The business reports which had been sent to all presbyters prior to the meeting were given by their respective conveners.
From 2001 to 2008, he was a Member of the Council of Presbyters and of the College of Consultants.
He also notes how the cognate terms "deaconate" and "deacon" advanced in the 1960s from relative obscurity to feature prominently in the leading, ecumenically agreed-upon statement on Christian ministry, namely, the 1982 World Council of Churches document Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry that described the church's ministry as "threefold," comprising bishops, presbyters, and deacons.
Eight presbyters, myself included, recorded our dissent.
Presbyters did not "concelebrate" with him in the modern understanding of the term but would be called upon to celebrate the eucharist only in the absence of the bishop.
He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint [him] with oil in the name of the church" (5:14).
Previously, it was thought to be a letter addressed to Sotas, a presbyter of Heracleopolis, but Luijendijk contends that it is a letter from the presbyters of Heracleopolis to Sotas, the bishop of Oxyrhynchus (the term for presbyter is abbreviated and so neither its case nor number can be known).
The presence of women presbyters in Bruttium at the end of the 5th century is attested by an epitah to 'Leta presbytera' by her husband who set up her tomb.
And the Scottish Presbyters who appear to be ruining, sorry, running the country.
The New Testament is also replete with the ordinations of "presbyters" throughout--a Greek word that is translated into English as "priest" (eg.
Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek provide a history of the ordination of women in documentary form, ranging from first-century New Testament texts to canons regarding female presbyters in the eighth century C.E.