Definition of high priest in English:

high priest


  • 1A chief priest of a non-Christian religion, in particular.

    • ‘The high priests of ancient Egypt knew that gold was special; it has taken six millennia to appreciate why.’
    • ‘Last week, the Buddhist high priests refused to meet with the president and yesterday four of them, belonging to different sects, wrote a joint letter demanding that MPs reject the bill.’
    • ‘The Indian-born daughter of a Zoroastrian high priest left £500,000 in her will for a new community hall at The Guildhall.’
    • ‘The ancient Egyptians were known to have worshipped meteorites and the high priests and members of the various royal families wore small pieces of them as jewellery.’
    • ‘A Sumerian inscription on the back of the basalt statue from the Iraq Museum tells us that it represents a man called Dudu, a high priest and scribe of Urnanshe, the ruler of Lagash about 2400 B.C.’
    • ‘Lokubandara said that while he agreed with the high priests that businessmen and the media profited at the cost of harming youth, legislating against such activities was outside his purview.’
    1. 1.1The chief priest of the historic Jewish religion.
      • ‘The two main characters involved in Jesus's death are Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, and Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest.’
      • ‘It was the only day in the Jewish calendar when the high priest could enter the innermost room of the temple - the most holy place.’
      • ‘Mark 14: 66-72 records how, in the court of the high priest, Peter three times denied that he was a disciple of Jesus.’
      • ‘Inside, behind a great curtain, is the Holy of Holies, where the high priest, like Moses before him, communes with the Lord.’
      • ‘Jerusalem itself was governed by the Jewish high priest, who was responsible to a Roman prefect.’
      authority, expert, specialist, pundit, guru, mentor, adviser, mastermind, connoisseur
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    2. 1.2The head of a religious cult or similar group.
      • ‘For support, Alonso relied on his family and, increasingly, on his babalawo, or Santerian high priest.’
      • ‘Organised by Benin's main voodoo leader Daagbo Hounon Houna, the festival begins with the clatter of tambourines and continues with hours of incantations by high priests of the religion, who fall into deep trances.’
      • ‘According to Chief Obadio, the high priest of Oduduwa in Ife, human sacrifice was offered to the deity in the past.’
      • ‘Only towards the end were they written to fit a full-blown Wiccan coven with high priestess and high priest.’
      • ‘The Druids, the high priests of the Celts, spent twenty years learning the traditions and oral lessons.’
    3. 1.3A chief advocate of a belief or practice.
      ‘the high priest of the drug culture’
      • ‘But who could have foreseen that the man once known as the high priest of UK drugs culture would team up with the singer from the ultimate Scottish teenybop band?’
      • ‘Here was one of the high priests of modern international capitalism speaking.’
      • ‘Kerr, the former 20-a-day man, is the high priest of this new ideology.’
      • ‘Then again, he has been called the high priest of evolution, with Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species as his bible.’
      • ‘The high priests of the market preach a similar doctrine, claiming that money can separate itself from the production process and enter a financial heaven where money endlessly begets money.’
      • ‘Vanity Fair is the beautiful people's bible and Carter has been described as ‘the high priest of celebrity culture’, so if he's predicting the end of the Age of Affluence we should stop and listen.’
      • ‘Over the past 36 years, J.D. ‘Dave’ Power has earned a reputation as high priest of customer satisfaction.’
      • ‘Goldman Sachs is the arch high priest of the investment banker's temple.’
      • ‘As Pierre Boulez turns 80, some of the world's greatest composers give their verdict on the high priest of modernism’
      • ‘The architects of neoliberalism, the high priests of free market fundamentalism, continue to force through destructive policies with all the fervour of religious zealots.’
      • ‘For years, the politicians and their high priests of ‘free markets’ and ‘free trade’ have been telling us that we'd better make sacrifices or our prosperity was in danger.’
      • ‘He has wrestled with expansion since 1996, when he took over as CEO from Vanguard founder John C. Bogle, the high priest of low-cost index investing.’
      • ‘They claim to be the high priests of tolerance, and yet they practice intolerance against us.’
      • ‘And this allows the authorities to set themselves up as the high priests of the new moral anti-racism.’
      • ‘Evolution also makes it possible to be ‘an intellectually fulfilled atheist’, according to the high priest of atheism, Richard Dawkins of Oxford University.’
      • ‘As to be expected, Comte appointed himself as the high priest of the new religion of humanity.’
      • ‘Newton's millenarian enthusiasm, based upon the deeply held notion that human history was orchestrated by God, was matched later in the century by the millennial speculations of the high priest of rational Dissent, Joseph Priestley.’
      • ‘A clergyman's son, Osler became a high priest of modern medicine and contributed greatly to America's rise to international medical prominence.’
      • ‘He is a founder of the party and the high priest of its right-wing, low-tax, pro-enterprise economic code.’
      • ‘Nor does he realize that markets are far more random and far riskier that he is being made to believe by the high priests of the brokerage industry.’


high priest

/ˈˌhī ˈprēst/