If you’re an ecclesiastic, you probably spend a lot of time in church. The word ecclesiastic describes a member of the clergy, typically someone associated with a Christian church.

The word ecclesiastic has origins in the Greek word ekklesiastes, meaning "speaker in an assembly or church," and can be used to describe someone associated with a church, such as a cleric or a priest. When you see an English word that begins with the eccles bit, you can be pretty sure that its meaning will somehow involve religious matters. That’s because ekklēsia is the Greek word for church and it has influenced the spelling of many English words of a religious nature, such as ecclesial, ecclesiolatry, and ecclesiarch.

Definitions of ecclesiastic

adj of or associated with a church (especially a Christian Church)

ecclesiastic history”

n a clergyman or other person in religious orders

churchman, cleric, divine
Thomas a Kempis
German ecclesiastic (1380-1471)
Saint Bruno
(Roman Catholic Church) a French cleric (born in Germany) who founded the Carthusian order in 1084 (1032-1101)
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a cleric who ordains; a cleric who admits someone to holy orders
a medieval cleric who raised money for the church by selling papal indulgences
a cleric who holds more than one benefice at a time
someone who grants absolution
Type of:
clergyman, man of the cloth, reverend
a member of the clergy and a spiritual leader of the Christian Church

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