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From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Religion
priesthoodpriest‧hood /ˈpriːsthʊd/ noun  1 the priesthood2 [countable usually singular, uncountable]RR all the priests of a particular religion or country an attempt to reduce the influence of the priesthood in the country
Examples from the Corpus
priesthoodthe Babylonian priesthoodHis illegitimate son Cesare had difficulty in being accepted for the priesthood until granted dispensation.Also during the summer months, one of the Diocesan students for the priesthood came to Lartington on placement.He would know that smell anywhere, having lived off that particular soup during his early years in the priesthood.Biscop Baducing was born into a noble family, then was ordained into the priesthood at the age of twenty-five.I decided that my mission was to convince Dennis to leave the priesthood.I believe women ought to be ordained to the priesthood.As a young man, with the priesthood still a distant dream, Hughes had gone ahead of his people.While Bourdieu's self-deprecatory claims to priesthood and orthodoxy turn out to be a cover for a very avant-garde sociology of culture.
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