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ecclesiastic

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
  1. adjective
    of or associated with a church (especially a Christian Church)
    ecclesiastic history”
    synonyms: ecclesiastical
  2. noun
    a clergyman or other person in religious orders
    synonyms: churchman, cleric, divine
    see moresee less
    examples:
    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)
    types:
    show 4 types...
    hide 4 types...
    ordainer
    a cleric who ordains; a cleric who admits someone to holy orders
    pardoner
    a medieval cleric who raised money for the church by selling papal indulgences
    pluralist
    a cleric who holds more than one benefice at a time
    absolver
    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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