- a minister or priest in charge of a church.
- a person having spiritual care of a number of persons.
- Ornithology. any of various starlings, especially Sturnus roseus (rosy pastor) of Europe and Asia.
verb (used with object)
- to serve as the pastor of: He pastored the church here for many years.
- a clergyman or priest in charge of a congregation
- a person who exercises spiritual guidance over a number of people
- an archaic word for shepherd (def. 1)
- Also called: rosy pastor a S Asian starling, Sturnus roseus, having glossy black head and wings and a pale pink body
n.late 14c. (mid-13c. as a surname), “shepherd,” also “spiritual guide, shepherd of souls,” from Old French pastor, pastur “herdsman, shepherd” (12c.), from Latin pastorem (nominative pastor) “shepherd,” from pastus, past participle of pascere “to lead to pasture, set to grazing, cause to eat,” from PIE root *pa- “to tend, keep, pasture, feed, guard, protect” (see food). The spiritual sense was in Church Latin (cf. Gregory’s “Cura Pastoralis”). The verb in the Christian sense is from 1872. In some groups of Christians (see also Christian), the clergyman in charge of an individual congregation. The term is used this way in the Lutheran Church and Roman Catholic Church and, to a lesser extent, by Baptists and in the Protestant Episcopal Church.