One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A beneficed member of the clergy; a rector or a vicar.
- ‘Deference to the squire and the parson was often a façade, masking constant challenges to authority by poaching and more explicit threats of rick-burning.’
- ‘This seems especially true of recent fiction written by people who have never served a parish as its parson.’
- ‘This was about the clerk of that parish, whose wife used to wash the parson's surplices.’
- ‘In her view ‘doctors, schoolmasters, bank managers and parsons were all respected members of the community’ and she was determined that her son should join them.’
- ‘Some of your boys can thank a Texas parson for being alive today’
- ‘It is brought home to me in one of the few permitted churches, where the parson has to submit his sermons to the censors a month in advance.’
- ‘The parson had assured him that I was a hard worker, so he took me.’
- ‘The parson goes on to deliver an eloquent sermon on Christian acceptance.’
- ‘But, for the modern Episcopalian, the country parson is probably an ideal figure, remote and more longed for than experienced.’
- ‘As a form of greeting, parsons should make a regular point of blessing those they meet as an alternative to more ‘worldly’ salutations.’
- ‘Does the idea of a club having its own priest, reverend, or parson seem ridiculous?’
- ‘He was a humorous and gentle pastor of his flock, a good parson who put up a new poster every week to attract people to come to his church.’
- ‘He wanted to be a monk, not a busy town parson continually beset by unreasonable people.’
- ‘Soon she is the quarry of both the parson, who wants to keep her innocence intact, and the hard-drinking, fox-hunting squire, who wants his wicked way with her.’
- ‘He was a good parson, and I am happy to have been introduced to his life by such a reliable biographer.’
- ‘This story follows a witch hunt through a 17th century village, with the parson's wife, Anne, trying to save an old woman from being burned at the stake and ending up denounced herself for witchcraft.’
- ‘The parson told the magistrates that he knew nothing of his niece's whereabouts until he saw the notice in the newspapers.’
- ‘The King James Bible was meant to be read in churches, and the idea was that if you didn't gloss it, people wouldn't be able to understand it properly, and they'd have to come to church and they'd have to ask the parson in the normal way to teach.’
- ‘You tell us not to believe what parsons say about religion.’
- ‘One of the parson's duties is to encourage and help parishioners find suitable employment.’
- 1.1informal Any member of the clergy, especially a Protestant one.
- ‘But a Protestant parson also visited the place.’
- ‘While it was fronted largely by bluff Protestant parsons, it was backed by Stalin's branch office in the Australian Communist Party.’
- ‘‘A Protestant country parson is probably the best object of a modern idyll.’’
- ‘Georg Frobenius's father was Christian Ferdinand Frobenius, a Protestant parson, and his mother was Christine Elizabeth Friedrich.’
- ‘He too, son and grandson of Lutheran parsons, started off as a pious, dutiful boy and then, to borrow Turner's words, followed ‘the typical pattern of Victorian loss of Protestant religious faith.’’
Middle English: from Old French persone, from Latin persona ‘person’ (in medieval Latin ‘rector’).
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