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[ves-tree] /ˈvɛs tri/
noun, plural vestries.
a room in or a building attached to a church, in which the vestments, and sometimes liturgical objects, are kept; sacristy.
(in some churches) a room in or a building attached to a church, used as a chapel, for prayer meetings, for the Sunday school, etc.
Episcopal Church. a committee elected by members of a congregation to serve with the churchwardens in managing the temporal affairs of the church.
Church of England. a meeting attended by all the parishioners or by a committee of parishioners during which the official business of the church is discussed.
1350-1400; Middle English vestrie, vestrye. See vest (v.), -ery
Related forms
vestral, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for vestry
  • But it makes for some really strange vestry meetings sometimes.
  • Some rudimentary records of the parish levies are preserved in the surviving parish vestry books.
  • For a short time, the clerks of the county courts continued to register burials concurrently with the clerks of the vestry.
  • The narthex and present vestry also date from this renovation.
  • Dexter was an active member of the building committee and served on the vestry.
  • To accommodate this and form a vestry, the exterior of the north portico has been filled in with brick walls between its columns.
  • For a short time, the clerks of the county courts continued to register births concurrently with the clerks of the vestry.
British Dictionary definitions for vestry


noun (pl) -tries
a room in or attached to a church in which vestments, sacred vessels, etc, are kept
a room in or attached to some churches, used for Sunday school, meetings, etc
(Church of England)
  1. a meeting of all the members of a parish or their representatives, to transact the official business of the parish
  2. the body of members meeting for this; the parish council
(Episcopal Church, Anglican Church) a committee of vestrymen chosen by the congregation to manage the temporal affairs of their church
Derived Forms
vestral, adjective
Word Origin
C14: probably from Old French vestiarie; see vest
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 vestry

late 14c., probably from Anglo-French *vesterie, from Old French vestiaire "room for vestments," from Latin vestarium "wardrobe," noun use of neuter of vestiarius (adj.) "of clothes," from vestis "garment" (see vest (v.)).

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


in architecture, room in a Christian church in which vestments and sacred objects used in the services are stored and in which the clergy and sometimes the altar boys and the choir members put on their robes. In the early Christian church, two rooms beside the apse, the diaconicon and the prothesis, were used for these purposes.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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