Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

doyen

play
noun doy·en \ˈdȯi-ən, -ˌ(y)en; ˈdwä-ˌyaⁿ(n)\

Simple Definition of doyen

  • : a person who has a lot of experience in or knowledge about a particular profession, subject, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of doyen

  1. 1 a :  the senior member of a body or group b :  a person considered to be knowledgeable or uniquely skilled as a result of long experience in some field of endeavor

  2. 2 :  the oldest example of a category

Examples of doyen in a sentence

  1. He is considered the doyen of political journalists.

  2. <considered the doyen of American art critics>



Did You Know?

English picked up "doyen" from French in the 17th century. The French term in turn comes from the Late Latin word decanus, which itself comes from the Greek dekanos, meaning "chief of ten." A "doyen" can be a leader of a group, such as a diplomatic corps. In this regard, the word has been used to refer to someone who is specifically or tacitly allowed to speak for that group. More broadly, a "doyen" refers to a highly skilled and respected veteran of a particular field. The feminine form of "doyen" is "doyenne."

Origin and Etymology of doyen

French, from Old French deien, from Late Latin decanus dean — more at dean


First Known Use: 1670


Learn More about doyen


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up doyen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a representation of something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

lazy frenetic melancholy philistine
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ