AskDefine | Define preceptory

User Contributed Dictionary



From mediaeval Latin praeceptoria, noun use of the feminine of praeceptorius ‘commanding’.




  1. A community of the Knights Templar, or the physical buildings or estate of such a community.
    • 1819: “The most petty baron may arrest, try, and condemn a witch found within his own domain. And shall that power be denied to the Grand Master of the Temple within a preceptory of his Order?” — Walter Scott, Ivanhoe

Extensive Definition

A Preceptory was historically the headquarters of the various orders of Christian Knights, such as the Knights Hospitaller and Templar, within a given geographic area. Governed by a Preceptor, who was answerable to the Grand Master of the respective order. A preceptory main focus would be its Church and accommodation for the brethren.
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