1. An Anglican cleric with full legal control of a parish under ecclesiastical law; a rector.
2. A member of the clergy, especially a Protestant minister.
[Middle English, parish priest, from Old French persone, from Medieval Latin persōna, from Latin, character; see PERSON.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.