parson

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par·son / ˈpärsən/ • n. a beneficed member of the clergy; a rector or a vicar. ∎ inf. any member of the clergy, esp. a Protestant one. DERIVATIVES: par·son·ic / pärˈsänik/ adj. par·son·i·cal / pärˈsänikəl/ adj.

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parson parish priest XIII; clergyman, minister XVI. ME. person, later parso(u)n — OF. persone, (law F.) parsone :— L. persōna PERSON, used in the eccl. sense at the Council of Clermont 1096 (‘mortuis … vel mutatis Clericis quos Personas vocant’). The genesis of the application is much disputed, but in England the parson has been long held to be the legal persona who could sue and be sued in respect of the parish.
So parsonage †benefice XIV; for p. house XV. — OF. personage.

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