An example would be I know this person is religious but that is all I know. What generic term could I use to talk about the religious leader of their church?

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    Which church/religion? Different churches have different names for their leaders. Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 18:08
  • @KillingTime, Thats what I am asking. Is there a a term to use regardless of the church/religion they belong too.
    – joshabides
    Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 18:20
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    @YosefBaskin. If there isn't another term religious leader is what I will end up using.
    – joshabides
    Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 18:21
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    Are you talking about the leader of a particular church (i.e. the person leading worship for a single congregation) or the leader of the whole Church (such as the Pope)? Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 18:26
  • Another way to go about this is to find out more about what religion they claim, and then use words that reflect it. People appreciate that kind of interest. Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 19:53

1 Answer 1


The term religious leader in itself is apt. This is not an uncommon phrase. Notice here how it has enjoyed extensive usage in the English language, particularly in the 1980s.

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    The NGram does not illustrate much here, considering how extremely low the prevalence of this phrase is. It is more useful tool for comparing competing phrasings for the same concept. What you can do is use it to find examples of usage in Google Books, providing contexts for the use of the phrase. That said, religious leader is the term I would suggest as well, replacing religious if need be to narrow the scope to a particular faith or confession.
    – choster
    Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 19:20

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