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

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 laity 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

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 Leonid Dzhalilov, who is forty-three, worked as a high-school math teacher and served as a deacon at a Moscow church. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, 20 Mar. 2022 Myers also served as Pilot Station’s Russian Orthodox deacon for 15 years. Olivia Ebertz, Anchorage Daily News, 3 May 2022 Alexi Rosenfeld—Getty Images Adrian Mazhur, a deacon with the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Manhattan, has also noticed more Ukrainians coming in for church service since the war began. Time, 23 Apr. 2022 Parkinson and his wife, Whittney, went through pre-marital counseling with Korobov, a deacon of compassion ministries at One Fellowship Church. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, 8 Apr. 2022 Driving a truck for Waukegan Baptist Bible Church (WBBC) in Waukegan was James Brown, deacon, and in the front passenger seat was Rev. Gregory Randle, the church’s founder and pastor. Karie Angell Luc,, 4 Apr. 2022 This group included journalists, academics, natural scientists, a developmental psychologist, a doctor, a musician, and a Russian Orthodox deacon. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, 20 Mar. 2022 Willhoff, 42, of Union Township, was a youth leader and deacon at the girl's church, Landmark Baptist Church. Kevin Grasha, The Enquirer, 13 Apr. 2022 Dzhalilov, the math teacher and deacon, and Miller, the musician, were staying a few blocks away. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, 20 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About deacon

Time Traveler for deacon

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near deacon



deacon's bench

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for deacon

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Deacon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for deacon


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

More from Merriam-Webster on deacon

Nglish: Translation of deacon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deacon for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about deacon


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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