apos·​tle | \ ə-ˈpä-səl How to pronounce apostle (audio) \

Definition of apostle

1 : one sent on a mission: such as
a : one of an authoritative New Testament group sent out to preach the gospel and made up especially of Christ's 12 original disciples and Paul
b : the first prominent Christian missionary to a region or group St. Boniface, the Apostle of Germany
2a : a person who initiates a great moral reform or who first advocates an important belief or system
b : an ardent supporter : adherent apostles of high technology
3 : the highest ecclesiastical official in some church organizations
4 : one of a Mormon administrative council of 12 men

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from apostle

apostleship \ ə-​ˈpä-​səl-​ˌship How to pronounce apostleship (audio) \ noun

Examples of apostle in a Sentence

a fervent apostle of universal health care
Recent Examples on the Web Meza would like for more church members to question the legitimacy of the apostle. Leila Miller, latimes.com, "Reddit group becomes flashpoint in sex abuse scandal at La Luz del Mundo church," 15 July 2019 Also known as The Way of Saint James, the network of pilgrims’ trails lead to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Greater in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. BostonGlobe.com, "Savor the sweet taste of spring on maple sugaring tour," 9 Mar. 2018 Get our daily newsletter Mr Groen is a reluctant apostle of black magic. The Economist, "The foodoo economics of meal delivery," 1 Aug. 2019 The hero of Hui’s story, aptly, is an apostle of this view, the seventeenth-century French mathematician and mystic Blaise Pascal. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "The Art of Aphorism," 15 July 2019 Pause at Saints Peter and Paul’s Church to examine the 12 apostles who adorn its grand frontage. Malavika Bhattacharya, National Geographic, "Why is everyone going to Krakow?," 23 July 2019 But the surprising, shocking feature of the descent into war is how passionately the apostles of destruction worshipped and welcomed it. K.n.c., The Economist, "The radical politics of futurists and fascists—and us, here, today," 19 July 2019 In the apostle’s absence, his older brother, Pastor Benjamin Joaquin Garcia, gave the consecration. Jeff Parrott, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage’s ‘wedding cake church’ opens its doors after more than a decade of construction," 22 June 2019 Scalia, one of the early originalist apostles, wielded an array of historical and legal sources to find an individual right to bear arms in the amendment for the first time. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "When John Paul Stevens Eviscerated Antonin Scalia," 17 July 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of apostle

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

History and Etymology for apostle

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Old English; Anglo-French apostle & Old English apostol, both from Late Latin apostolus, from Greek apostolos, from apostellein to send away, from apo- + stellein to send

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about apostle

Statistics for apostle

Last Updated

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for apostle

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for apostle


How to pronounce apostle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of apostle

: any one of the 12 men chosen by Jesus Christ to spread the Christian religion
: someone who believes in or supports an idea, cause, etc.


apos·​tle | \ ə-ˈpä-səl How to pronounce apostle (audio) \

Kids Definition of apostle

: one of the twelve close followers of Jesus

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on apostle

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


to engage in dissolute behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!