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

Francis has appointed a study commission on ordaining women deacons. Nicole Winfield,, "Over five years, pope produces major shift in church culture," 12 Mar. 2018 Each diocese disclosed its own list of priests and deacons, all of whom are either dead or no longer serve the church. Joseph De Avila, WSJ, "New Jersey Catholic Dioceses Release Names of Priests Accused of Sexual Assault," 13 Feb. 2019 The man, later identified as Marcus Wayne Chenault Jr. of Ohio, fired his gun, hitting Alberta King, church deacon Edward Boykin and congregation member Jimmie Mitchell. Leada Gore,, "6 years after MLK assassination, his mother was gunned down, too," 4 Apr. 2018 Roland was a member of Church of God- Lighthouse Family Worship Center in New Britain, was the oldest living member of the church and served as church deacon. Hartford Courant,, "Roland J. LaReau Sr.," 4 Mar. 2018 The celebration used to be gentler, said church deacon Herman Purutyan. Cristela Guerra,, "Ancient Armenian water celebration comes to Watertown," 9 July 2018 Some of the deacons are women and the head of the steward board is a woman. Corey Williams, Fox News, "For black women at church, it's more than the Aretha eulogy," 9 Sep. 2018 Don Gathers, a deacon at First Baptist Church in Charlottesville, was on the front lines with other clergy members protesting last year’s white supremacist rally. Joe Heim, Washington Post, "Sacred ground, now reclaimed: A Charlottesville story," 7 July 2018 The 71 include 37 priests of the diocese, three deacons, six seminarians, nine clergy from other dioceses and 16 individuals from religious communities. Scott Calvert, WSJ, "Pennsylvania Catholic Diocese Identifies Priests Accused of Child Sexual Abuse," 1 Aug. 2018

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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Statistics for deacon

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for deacon

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

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More Definitions for deacon



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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More from Merriam-Webster on deacon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deacon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deacon

Spanish Central: Translation of deacon

Nglish: Translation of deacon for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on deacon

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


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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