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priest

Definition of Priest

(noun) A religious specialist that acts as a go-between for an individual or group and the supernatural; they also typically preside over rituals such as death rites and marriages.

Example of Priest

Priest Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /prist/
    • British English
      • /priːst/
  • Syllabification: (priest)

Usage Notes

  • Plural: priests
  • Priestess means a female priest but the term priest can be used regardless of gender or sex.
  • The difference between a priest and a shaman is that a priest’s role is often full time but lacking direct control over supernatural power, acting only as an intermediary and a shaman’s role is often performed part time, with direct access and control of supernatural power.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Cite the Definition of Priest

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “priest.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved October 15, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/priest/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

priest. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/priest/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “priest.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed October 15, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/priest/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“priest.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 15 Oct. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/priest/>.