\ ˈklərk How to pronounce clerk (audio) , British usually ˈklärk How to pronounce clerk (audio) \

Definition of clerk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : cleric
2 archaic : scholar
3a : an official responsible (as to a government agency) for correspondence, records, and accounts and vested with specified powers or authority (as to issue writs as ordered by a court) city clerk
b : one employed to keep records or accounts or to perform general office work a bank clerk
c : one who works at a sales or service counter a store clerk a grocery clerk
d : a person (such as a law school graduate) who provides a judge, magistrate, or lawyer with assistance in such matters as research, writing, and analysis : law clerk


clerked; clerking; clerks

Definition of clerk (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to act or work as a clerk clerked for a court judge

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Other Words from clerk


clerkship \ ˈklərk-​ˌship How to pronounce clerkship (audio) , British usually  ˈklärk-​ \ noun

Synonyms for clerk

Synonyms: Noun

register, registrar, scribe, secretary

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Examples of clerk in a Sentence


Have the court clerk file your request with the judge. He works as a clerk in a local pet store. a sales clerk at a women's clothing store
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Williams, a former village clerk, was the leading vote getter in April’s election. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "New Sauk Village board plans to override mayor's veto of its probe of his hires, trustee says," 6 June 2019 Moore fatally shot 72-year-old Houston grocery store clerk James McCarble in 1980 during a robbery. Juan A. Lozano, The Seattle Times, "Supreme Court rules out death penalty for Texas inmate," 19 Feb. 2019 If a clerk doesn't have regular hours, voters can schedule an appointment. Max Bayer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Absentee ballots available ahead of Aug. 14 primary," 13 July 2018 Facing a sentence of 25 years to life in prison, Peyer, 38, stared ahead and displayed no emotion as the verdict was read by a court clerk shortly after noon., "June 23, 1988: Peyer is guilty," 23 June 2018 Lieutenant governor: Incumbent Kathy Hochul, a lawyer and former county clerk and House member from Buffalo, is facing off against challenger Jumaane Williams, who currently represents the 45th district in New York’s City Council. Vogue, "Everything You Need to Know About New York's Primary Election on Thursday," 10 Sep. 2018 One theory is that odd prices required store clerks to make change, which meant opening the cash register and recording the sale — rather than pocketing the cash. Adam Snitzer, miamiherald, "Why 9 is my favorite number," 12 July 2018 The average stock clerk or order filler earns $13.05 per hour, or $27,138 per year. Ruth Brown, idahostatesman, "This Nampa site may house an Amazon distribution center, bringing 'thousands' of jobs," 21 June 2018 The clerks frustration grew but Zach slowly but surely got better with each bag. Charles Curtis, For The Win, "Josh McCown shares the most heartwarming Father's Day story," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kavanaugh, a conservative federal judge who previously served in the administration of George W. Bush, has been tapped to replace Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, a longtime swing vote for whom Kavanaugh once clerked. Nash Jenkins, Time, "Here's What the Key Senators Think About Brett Kavanaugh Right Now," 10 July 2018 The 53-year-old Kavanaugh, who clerked for Kennedy and who currently sits on the U.S. court of appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court, emphasized in his remarks accepting the nomination the importance of judicial independence. Alana Abramson, Time, "President Trump Names New Supreme Court Justice," 10 July 2018 Although generally conservative, Justice Kennedy—for whom Judge Kavanaugh once clerked—joined liberals in several high-profile areas, including expansion of gay rights and limitations on capital punishment. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Opens New Term Without Ninth Justice in Place," 30 Sep. 2018 Kethledge also was sworn in as a member of the Sixth Court of Appeals at U-M. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom Kethledge clerked, attended and spoke at the event. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "Possible Supreme Court pick Kethledge's ties to University of Michigan," 9 July 2018 Maybe another woman studied her ass off, made law review, and was a finalist to clerk at the Supreme Court—but was told nah, not this time, we like this other guy, whose parents both went to law school and whose mom is also a judge. Wendy Naugle, Glamour, "On Boys Being Boys: In What World Can We Forgive a Few High School Indiscretions?," 19 Sep. 2018 The 51-year-old judge earned his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Michigan, and, like Kavanaugh, once clerked for Justice Kennedy. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Trump's Supreme Court Pick May Come From This List. Here's Where They Stand on Women's Issues.," 9 July 2018 Barrett had been a favorite of grassroots conservatives as a young female with strong religious views who honed her judicial philosophy clerking for Antonin Scalia. Maureen Groppe, Indianapolis Star, "Barrett passed over for high court, but Donnelly still faces tough choice," 9 July 2018 The President dwelled on Kavanaugh’s Ivy League credentials, which were a focus of Trump’s during the selection process, and the fact that, like Gorsuch, Kavanaugh had also clerked for Justice Kennedy. Brian Bennett, Time, "How President Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Could Change the U.S.," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clerk.' 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 clerk


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


1551, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for clerk

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French clerk & Old English cleric, clerc, both from Late Latin clericus, from Late Greek klērikos, from Greek klēros lot, inheritance (in allusion to Deuteronomy 18:2), stick of wood; akin to Greek klan to break — more at clast

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Statistics for clerk

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for clerk

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

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More Definitions for clerk



English Language Learners Definition of clerk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person whose job is to keep track of records and documents for a business or office
: an elected or appointed official whose job is to take care of official papers and business for a court or government
: a person who works in a store



English Language Learners Definition of clerk (Entry 2 of 2)

US : to work as a clerk


\ ˈklərk How to pronounce clerk (audio) \

Kids Definition of clerk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person whose job is to keep records or accounts
2 : a salesperson in a store


clerked; clerking

Kids Definition of clerk (Entry 2 of 2)

: to act or work as a clerk


\ ˈklərk How to pronounce clerk (audio) \

Medical Definition of clerk

: a third- or fourth-year medical student undergoing clinical training in a clerkship

Other Words from clerk

clerk intransitive verb

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Legal Definition of clerk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an official responsible (as to a court) for correspondence, records, and accounts and having specified powers or authority (as to issue writs) a city clerk clerk of court
2a : a person employed to keep records or accounts or to perform general office work
b : a person (as a law student or graduate) employed by an attorney or judge to assist with case-related tasks (as research) — compare paralegal

Other Words from clerk

clerkship noun

Legal Definition of clerk (Entry 2 of 2)

: to act or work as a clerk clerked for a Supreme Court justice

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More from Merriam-Webster on clerk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clerk

Spanish Central: Translation of clerk

Nglish: Translation of clerk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clerk for Arabic Speakers

Comments on clerk

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