Definition of prebend in English:


Pronunciation /ˈprebənd/ /ˈprɛbənd/


  • 1historical The portion of the revenues of a cathedral or collegiate church formerly granted to a canon or member of the chapter as his stipend.

    • ‘In 1123 Henry I granted the manor to the bishop of Lincoln for the endowment of a prebend.’
    1. 1.1The property from which a prebend was derived.
      ‘The Bishop of Lincoln granted him the canonry and prebend of Leighton Bromswold, a living which was an easy yoke in terms of duties, affording him the chance to serve in a manner he felt consistent with his powers.’
      • ‘Chafing at his position of dependence, and indignant at Temple's delay in getting him preferment, he returned to Ireland, was ordained, and received the small prebend of Kilroot.’
      • ‘Claiming legitimate control of prebends in an area is enabled by the political currency of concepts such as autochtony and allogeny.’
      • ‘Public resentment against this trend increased to the degree that appointees converted their posts into prebends.’
    2. 1.2
      another term for prebendary
      • ‘Such appreciation for the church and its fabric would have been seen as extremely unusual for a prebend or indeed for any clergyman at this time-a time when very little church building was being done.’


Late Middle English from Old French prebende, from late Latin praebenda ‘things to be supplied, pension’, neuter plural gerundive of Latin praebere ‘to grant’, from prae ‘before’ + habere ‘hold, have’.