from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An Anglican cleric with full legal control of a parish under ecclesiastical law; a rector.
  • n. A member of the clergy, especially a Protestant minister.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An Anglican cleric having full legal control of a parish under ecclesiastical law; a rector.
  • n. A Protestant minister.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A person who represents a parish in its ecclesiastical and corporate capacities; hence, the rector or incumbent of a parochial church, who has full possession of all the rights thereof, with the cure of souls.
  • n. Any clergyman having ecclesiastical preferment; one who is in orders, or is licensed to preach; a preacher.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A person.
  • n. The person in holy orders who has the charge or cure of souls in a parish; the incumbent of a parochial benefice.
  • n. A clergyman in general; a man licensed to preach: often used colloquially, or with a touch of contempt: as, a fox-hunting parson.
  • n. A tiny finch of Brazil, Spermophila minuta.
  • n. The parson-bird or poe-bird.
  • n. Synonyms Clergyman, Priest, etc. See minister, n.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person authorized to conduct religious worship


Middle English, parish priest, from Old French persone, from Medieval Latin persōna, from Latin, character; see person.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman, from Old French persone ("parson, person"), from Medieval Latin persona ("parson, person"), from Latin persona ("person"). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.