1. That circuit of ground committed to the charge of one parson or vicar, or other minister having cure of souls therein. The same district, constituting a civil jurisdiction, with its own officers and regulations, as respects the poor, taxes, etc.

Populous and extensive parishes are now divided, under various parliamentary acts, into smaller ecclesiastical districts for spiritual purposes.

2. An ecclesiastical society, usually not bounded by territorial limits, but composed of those persons who choose to unite under the charge of a particular priest, clergyman, or minister; also, loosely, the territory in which the members of a congregation live.

3. In Louisiana, a civil division corresponding to a county in other states.

Origin: OE. Parishe, paresche, parosche, OF. Paroisse, parosse, paroiche, F. Paroisse, L. Parochia, corrupted fr. Paroecia, Gr, fr. Dwelling beside or near; beside _ a house, dwelling; akin to L. Vicus village. See Vicinity, and cf. Parochial.

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