Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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
pres•by•ter(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.