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[lek-ter] /ˈlɛk tər/
a lecturer in a college or university.
Roman Catholic Church.
  1. a member of the next to lowest-ranking of the minor orders.
  2. the order itself.
    Compare acolyte (def 2), exorcist (def 2), ostiary (def 1).
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Latin: a reader, equivalent to leg(ere) to read + -tor -tor
Related forms
[lek-ter-it, -tuh-reyt] /ˈlɛk tər ɪt, -təˌreɪt/ (Show IPA),
lectorship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for lectorship


a lecturer or reader in certain universities
(RC Church)
  1. a person appointed to read lessons at certain services
  2. (in convents or monastic establishments) a member of the community appointed to read aloud during meals
Derived Forms
lectorate (ˈlɛktərɪt), lectorship, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin, from legere to read
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for lectorship



late 14c., "reader, a cleric in one of the minor orders," from Late Latin lector "reader," agent noun from Latin legere "to read" (see lecture (n.)). Related: Lectorship.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for lectorship


in Christianity, a person chosen or set apart to read Holy Scripture in the church services. In the Eastern Orthodox churches lector is one of the minor orders in preparation for the priesthood. Although formerly a minor order in the Roman Catholic Church, the office was named a ministry by Pope Paul VI in a motu proprio (initiated by the Pope without advice, effective Jan. 1, 1973) and was opened to laymen. Officially this ministry is reserved to men, although in practice women may serve as lectors without being formally installed in the ministry

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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