Meaning of glebe in English:


Pronunciation /ɡliːb/


  • 1 historical A piece of land serving as part of a clergyman's benefice and providing income.

    ‘the rich vicarage of Churcham had no glebe at all’
    • ‘glebe land’
    • ‘He incorporates the church's contributions throughout, whether considering monastic institutions as landlords or parish priests' glebes as part of the English manor.’
    • ‘A glebe is a piece of land forming part of a clergyman's living, and right next door was the tiny church of St Edmund.’
    • ‘The parish clergy, dependent on tithes, fees, and if they were lucky a little glebe land, paid almost half the total raised, yet had little say in its allocation within each diocese.’
    • ‘It was in this way that a great deal of tithe and glebe land passed out of the reach of the parish clergy and into the hands of cathedral chapters.’
    • ‘Anglicanism enjoyed its dominant position in the plantation colonies, endowed with glebe lands, housed in parish churches, and staffed with a university-educated clergy.’
    • ‘There is a glebe-house, with a glebe of 11 acres.’
  • 2 archaic mass noun Land; fields.

    ‘The law discriminates between the owners of land which was formerly glebe and of land which was not by making the former but not the latter liable for chancel repairs.’
    • ‘A few years later, more lands and buildings were added to this glebe which represent the freehold premises in Wilmcote which had come to John Shakespeare on his marriage to Mary Arden.’
    meadow, pasture, paddock, green, pen, grassland, pastureland, sward


Late Middle English from Latin gleba, glaeba ‘clod, land, soil’.