disciple

noun
dis·​ci·​ple | \ di-ˈsī-pəl How to pronounce disciple (audio) \

Definition of disciple

1 : one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another: such as
a Christianity : one of the twelve in the inner circle of Christ's followers according to the Gospel accounts
b : a convinced adherent of a school or individual a disciple of Freud
2 capitalized, Christianity : a member of the Disciples of Christ founded in the U.S. in 1809 that holds the Bible alone to be the rule of faith and practice, usually baptizes by immersion, and has a congregational (see congregational sense 3) polity

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Other Words from disciple

discipleship \ di-​ˈsī-​pəl-​ˌship How to pronounce discipleship (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for disciple

follower, adherent, disciple, partisan mean one who gives full loyalty and support to another. follower may apply to people who attach themselves either to the person or beliefs of another. an evangelist and his followers adherent suggests a close and persistent attachment. adherents to Marxism disciple implies a devoted allegiance to the teachings of one chosen as a master. disciples of Gandhi partisan suggests a zealous often prejudiced attachment. partisans of the President

Examples of disciple in a Sentence

a disciple of Sigmund Freud a circle of dedicated disciples who conscientiously wrote down everything the prophet said

Recent Examples on the Web

Phish vocalist Trey Anastasio is a disciple of Nigerian big-band leader King Sunny Ade, after all. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Vampire Weekend expands on free-flowing influences at Lawn at White River State Park," 8 June 2019 The economist Alan Greenspan, for example, was a disciple of Rand’s who brought her philosophy to his role as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Gerald Ford and, from 1987 until 2006, as the chairman of the Federal Reserve. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "The Persistent Ghost of Ayn Rand, the Forebear of Zombie Neoliberalism," 6 June 2019 The Economist, a British publication that has spent decades sparring with Marxism's disciples, ran a lengthy story this past week arguing that world leaders should still be reading him. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Why the specter of Marx still haunts the world," 8 May 2018 Millikan, a disciple of the legendary Henry Iba at Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State), was hired at age 30 in 1950. Don Markus, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland set to honor 1958 ACC champion team that made UM more of a basketball school," 6 Jan. 2018 Everything starts with Moser, the disciple of Rick Majerus, whose meticulousness can be seen in the way Loyola plays defense and spreads the floor on offense. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "Loyola can be the team that captures America's imagination this year," 12 Mar. 2018 Jesus needs disciples to continue to teach his people. Thomas Farragher, BostonGlobe.com, "As a child, he tended sheep in the Congo. Now, he’ll tend souls in Boston," 1 May 2018 Zimmer’s thumbprint lasted until this week, when Zimmer disciple Paul Guenther officially left to coordinate the defense in Oakland. Jim Owczarski, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Bengals hire Teryl Austin as defensive coordinator," 8 Jan. 2018 In some parts of Latin America, an effigy of Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, is burned. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "What Is Holy Saturday, the Day Before Easter, and Why Do We Celebrate It?," 1 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disciple.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of disciple

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for disciple

Middle English, "follower of Jesus, one of the apostles, pupil," in part going back to Old English discipul, in part borrowed from Anglo-French disciple, both borrowed from Late Latin discipulus "follower of Christ, apostle" (translation of Greek mathētḗs), going back to Latin, "pupil, learner," of uncertain origin

Note: Traditionally explained as a derivative of discere "to learn," but the second element -pulus is neither a known word nor a suffix. According to an alternative explanation, the base is nominalized from an unattested verb *discipere, putatively, "to grasp, comprehend," from dis- dis- and capere "to take, seize" (cf. disceptāre "to dispute, debate," supposedly a frequentative from this verb); this is semantically questionable, however, and -ulus is any case not an agentive suffix.

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Statistics for disciple

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for disciple

The first known use of disciple was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for disciple

disciple

noun

English Language Learners Definition of disciple

: someone who accepts and helps to spread the teachings of a famous person
: one of a group of 12 men who were sent out to spread the teachings of Jesus Christ

disciple

noun
dis·​ci·​ple | \ di-ˈsī-pəl How to pronounce disciple (audio) \

Kids Definition of disciple

1 : a person who accepts and helps to spread the teachings of another
2 : apostle

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More from Merriam-Webster on disciple

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disciple

Spanish Central: Translation of disciple

Nglish: Translation of disciple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disciple for Arabic Speakers

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