Definition of minster in US English:



  • A large or important church, typically one of cathedral status in the north of England that was built as part of a monastery.

    ‘York Minster’
    • ‘An official announcement by the dean and chapter, the ancient minster's governing body, is expected later in the week after a behind-closed-doors meeting today.’
    • ‘A later King, Cynewulf by name, granted land to the minster by the Great Springe they call Wells and the whole cathedraling business began.’
    • ‘It is in a deep ‘financial crisis’, says a canon of the ancient minster in the December issue of the cathedral magazine.’
    • ‘A spokesman for the Sheffield Diocese of the Church of England said a minster was considered to be a church which sends members out to bear witness in the community.’
    • ‘Nobody can quite explain what this eccentric ecclesiastical spectacle might achieve, but under the beautiful gothic awning of a medieval minster, the balance of opinion is that prayer might be worth a try.’
    • ‘Take in the huge Schwabentor gate, as decorative as it was defensive, before ambling to Münsterplatz and the fabulous minster.’
    • ‘It was quite common in Anglo-Saxon England for one church to act as a minster for a town community, handling all funerals and gathering all the dead into its graveyard.’
    • ‘The Lincoln incident happened during Evensong on Tuesday when a Victorian oak altar and a 40-year-old altar frontal were set ablaze in the Morning Chapel in the minster's north west corner.’
    • ‘A similar daintiness animates the statues added around 1300-22 to Strasbourg Cathedral, the minster at Freiburg im Breisgau, and Cologne Cathedral.’
    • ‘Many of the first purpose-built churches were minsters, home to communities of priests, who went out to preach the Gospel over wide territories.’
    • ‘Stratford-upon-Avon, stands in all probability on the site of an Anglo-Saxon minster, established by the 8th century.’
    • ‘The beautiful parish church of St Mary, dating from the 12 th century, predates the minster and is famous for a carving of a rabbit which is said to have inspired Lewis Carroll to create the March Hare in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.’
    • ‘An emergency session of the governing body of strife-torn Ripon Cathedral was held yesterday over the latest troubles to hit the minster.’
    • ‘According to the history books, Carus died before the minster was built on Church Street and is buried under the new altar.’
    • ‘Thus early monasteries may be associated with cathedrals, colleges, and minsters.’
    • ‘If it is doubtful how often sixth-century rulers had permanent headquarters in the Roman towns and forts, it is certain that seventh and eighth-century kings and bishops favoured them as sites for cathedrals and minsters.’
    • ‘One of the five officials who resigned at the cathedral after clashing with the dean was Robert Lambie, clerk of the chapter, the body that runs the ancient minster.’
    • ‘The authorities of trouble-torn Lincoln Cathedral have been accused by a member of the congregation of putting the ancient minster on a disaster course.’
    • ‘That was issued jointly by Mr Morley and the cathedral Dean and Chapter, the body which, headed by the beleaguered dean, runs the minster and employs the organist.’
    • ‘He desired to be buried in the churchyard of the minster so that ‘the sweet rain of heaven might fall upon his grave’.’


Old English mynster, via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek monastērion (see monastery).