In ecclesiastical law. Properly, an incumbent who has the cure of souls, but now generally restricted to signify the spiritual assistant of a rector or vicar in his cure. An officiating temporary minister in the English church, who represents the proper incumbent; being regularly employed either to serve in his absence or as his assistant, as the case may be. 1 Bl. Comm 393; 3 Steph. Comm. 88; Brande.