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[pas-ter, pah-ster] /ˈpæs tər, ˈpɑ stər/
a minister or priest in charge of a church.
a person having spiritual care of a number of persons.
Ornithology. any of various starlings, especially Sturnus roseus (rosy pastor) of Europe and Asia.
verb (used with object)
to serve as the pastor of:
He pastored the church here for many years.
Origin of pastor
1325-75; < Latin pāstor shepherd, literally, feeder, equivalent to pās-, base of pāscere to put to pasture, feed + -tor -tor; replacing Middle English pastour < Anglo-French
Related forms
pastorless, adjective
pastorlike, pastorly, adjective
subpastor, noun
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pastor
  • Maybe the pastor asked them to leave because they were becoming a distraction.
  • Whoever he was, here is a true memorial to a pastor surely worthy of one.
  • But he has never had a proper education as a pastor.
  • Or, along with raw white onion, as the perfect top for tacos al pastor.
  • Have a trusted teacher or pastor or friend review some piece of written or spoken work that you've done, and practice not crying.
  • Consult your pastor about the choice between sightlessness and personal bankruptcy.
  • pastor struck by falling roof ice dam, subsequently died from complications.
  • The pastor resigned and the ousted church members were allowed to return.
British Dictionary definitions for pastor


a clergyman or priest in charge of a congregation
a person who exercises spiritual guidance over a number of people
an archaic word for shepherd (sense 1)
Also called rosy pastor. a S Asian starling, Sturnus roseus, having glossy black head and wings and a pale pink body
Derived Forms
pastorship, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin: shepherd, from pascere to feed
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pastor

late 14c. (mid-13c. as a surname), "shepherd," also "spiritual guide, shepherd of souls," from Old French pastor, pastur "herdsman, shepherd" (12c.), from Latin pastorem (nominative pastor) "shepherd," from pastus, past participle of pascere "to lead to pasture, set to grazing, cause to eat," from PIE root *pa- "to tend, keep, pasture, feed, guard, protect" (see food). The spiritual sense was in Church Latin (cf. Gregory's "Cura Pastoralis"). The verb in the Christian sense is from 1872.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pastor in Culture

pastor definition

In some groups of Christians, the clergyman in charge of an individual congregation. The term is used this way in the Lutheran Church and Roman Catholic Church and, to a lesser extent, by Baptists and in the Protestant Episcopal Church.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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