dea·​con | \ ˈdē-kən How to pronounce deacon (audio) \

Definition of deacon

: a subordinate officer in a Christian church: such as
a : a Roman Catholic, Anglican, or Eastern Orthodox cleric ranking next below a priest
b : one of the laymen elected by a church with congregational polity to serve in worship, in pastoral care, and on administrative committees
c : a Mormon in the lowest grade of the Aaronic priesthood

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Examples of deacon in a Sentence

my cousin was married by his uncle, who is also a deacon in his church
Recent Examples on the Web Pope Francis on Wednesday announced a new commission to study the possibility of female deacons in the Catholic Church. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Pope Francis reopens the question of female deacons," 8 Apr. 2020 Baker also instructed priests, deacons and ministers of holy communion to practice good hygiene, washing hands before Mass and before and after distributing communion. al, "As coronavirus fears spread, churches stop drinking from communal chalice," 3 Mar. 2020 The proposal, proponents say, would be narrowly applied to permit men ordained as deacons to become priests. Washington Post, "Roman Catholic bishops propose opening priesthood to married deacons in the Amazon region," 26 Oct. 2019 Perry was first ordained deacon and priest 30 years ago in the Diocese of Newark, New Jersey, and was the pastor at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Chicago since 1992. Giulia Mcdonnell Nieto Del Rio, CNN, "Episcopal Diocese of Michigan ordains its first female and openly lesbian bishop," 8 Feb. 2020 In Chicago, the archdiocese is requiring priests, deacons and other personnel to wash their hands before each Mass and use hand sanitizer before and after Communion. NBC News, "10 ways the coronavirus is making people change their daily lives," 6 Mar. 2020 The Mass of Installation followed a procession of hundreds of cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons and seminarians to the city’s cathedral church. USA TODAY, "Leaning Tower of Dallas, John Glenn, blue lobster: News from around our 50 states," 20 Feb. 2020 Jack Wilson, the West Freeway Church of Christ deacon who on Dec. 29 shot and killed a gunman who opened fire during a Sunday-morning service at the church, slaying two. Jamie Hancock, Dallas News, "Castro endorses Warren, 5 things to watch in 2020, McKinney’s rockin’ mayor," 7 Jan. 2020 Much worse was the fate of the mother of a deacon at his church, who lost her home in the storm and then was rushed to a hospital for angioplasty and a stent. Teresa M. Walker, Anchorage Daily News, "Cellphone alerts helped Tennessee couple get into basement before tornado destroyed their home," 4 Mar. 2020

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for deacon

Middle English dekene, from Old English dēacon, from Late Latin diaconus, from Greek diakonos, literally, servant, from dia- + -konos (akin to enkonein to be active); perhaps akin to Latin conari to attempt

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Time Traveler for deacon

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

12 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deacon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for deacon


How to pronounce deacon (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of deacon

: an official in some Christian churches whose rank is just below a priest
: a member of some Christian churches who has special duties


dea·​con | \ ˈdē-kən How to pronounce deacon (audio) \

Kids Definition of deacon

1 : an official in some Christian churches ranking just below a priest
2 : a church member in some Christian churches who has special duties

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