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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.]


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]


(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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.presbyter - an elder in the Presbyterian Churchpresbyter - an elder in the Presbyterian Church
elder - any of various church officers
References in classic literature ?
voodoos, presbyters, hierophants, prelates, obeah-men, abbes, nuns,
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.
Presbyters have a tough decision ahead of them this year with six names on the ballot for Moderator of the 2015 General Assembly.
Lutherans have, like most other churches, delegated the authority to administer confirmation to presbyters (pastors).
Wills does suggest that our church would do fine administratively with just presbyters (elders) and deacons (agents), presumably of either gender.
Let all follow the bishop, as Jesus Christ follows the Father, and the college of presbyters as the apostles; respect the deacons as you do God's law.
Bible women, Sunday school teachers, deacons and now as presbyters and bishops.
Jerome on the equivalence of presbyters and bishops.
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).
And the Scottish Presbyters who appear to be ruining, sorry, running the country.
He believes that the organizations of bishop, presbyters, and widows are anachronisms that show that it must be a second century writing.