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presbyter

[prez-bi-ter, pres-] /ˈprɛz bɪ tər, ˈprɛs-/
noun
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.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Late Latin, noun use of the adj.: older < Greek presbýteros, equivalent to présby(s) old + -teros comparative suffix
Related forms
presbyteral
[prez-bit-er-uh l, pres-] /prɛzˈbɪt ər əl, prɛs-/ (Show IPA),
adjective
nonpresbyter, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for presbyter
  • The church presbyter feared this would invite another arson.
British Dictionary definitions for presbyter

presbyter

/ˈprɛzbɪtə/
noun
1.
  1. an elder of a congregation in the early Christian Church
  2. (in some Churches having episcopal politics) an official who is subordinate to a bishop and has administrative, teaching, and sacerdotal functions
2.
(in some hierarchical Churches) another name for priest
3.
(in the Presbyterian Church)
  1. a teaching elder
  2. a ruling elder
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin, from Greek presbuteros an older man, from presbus old man
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 presbyter
n.

"elder of the Christian church," 1590s, from Late Latin presbyter, used for "a priest" in Jerome and Prudentius, from Greek presbyteros "older," comparative of presbys "old; old man" (see presby-).

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

(from Greek presbyteros, "elder"), an officer or minister in the early Christian Church intermediate between bishop and deacon or, in modern Presbyterianism, an alternative name for elder. The word presbyter is etymologically the original form of "priest."

Learn more about presbyter with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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16
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