the condition or office of a priest.
priests collectively.

before 900; Middle English presthed(e), presthod(e), Old English prēosthād. See priest, -hood

antipriesthood, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
priesthood (ˈpriːstˌhʊd)
1.  the state, order, or office of a priest
2.  priests collectively

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. preosthad; see priest + -hood. Priestcraft originally was "the business of being a priest" (late 15c.); after rise of Protestantism and the Enlightenment, it acquired a pejorative sense of "arts of ambitious priests for temporal power and social control" (1680s).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary


n. obs. [TMRC] The select group of system managers responsible for the operation and maintenance of a batch operated computer system. On these computers, a user never had direct access to a computer, but had to submit his/her data and programs to a priest for execution. Results were returned days or even weeks later. See acolyte.
Example sentences
These were, after all, the basis of the electrode caps worn by the cult
In fact, those privileged few drinking a cup of the dark elixir were likely
  members of the high priesthood or royalty.
The patent bar is a priesthood with its own secret dialect, intelligible only
  to initiates.
To sample the cuisine of the priesthood, this famous restaurant is it.
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