Provost (Lat. praepositus, set over) is, in ecclesiastical language, the chief dignitary of a cathedral or collegiate church, from which use the title has been transferred to the heads of other similar bodies, whether religious, literary, or administrative. Properly, however, the name is given to the highest dignitary in the metropolitan or diocesan chapter, and is often held conjointly with the archdeaconry. The provost is the next in dignity after the archbishop or bishop, a position which is also the right of the provost of a collegiate chapter. The name is also given to the superiors of certain religious houses of lesser rank, and the relation of which to the more important houses is analogous to that of the priory to the abbey. It was also given to certain lay officials, whose duties, in relation to the Church and the maintenance of its material condition, were similar to those of the modern churchwarden. In the Protestant Church in Germany, the name provost is sometimes used as synonymous with that of dean or archpriest; and occasionally, where several minor churches or chapels are attached to one chief clihrcli, the minister of the latter is called "provost." In Egland, the heads of several colleges in the Ulliversitv ot Oxfird, andl the head of King's College, Cambridge, are designated provost. The head of Eton College is also so called.

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