dea·​con·​ess | \ ˈdē-kə-nəs How to pronounce deaconess (audio) \

Definition of deaconess

: a woman chosen to assist in the church ministry specifically : one in a Protestant order

Examples of deaconess in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The virus also claimed the life of Shirley Miller, 70, a deaconess who assisted with baptisms and communion. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "9 coronavirus deaths in one Harlem church overwhelm pastor and his flock," 18 Apr. 2020 Today, the deaconesses can again access their own cemetery and visit the graves of their sisters. Washington Post, "Lutheran sisters recall nursing those wounded at Berlin Wall," 30 Oct. 2019 But the pope asked some skeptical questions at the assembly about whether the responsibilities of deaconesses in the early church were more circumscribed than those of male deacons. Elisabetta Povoledo And Laurie Goodstein, New York Times, "Pope Francis, Receiving Prize, Exhorts Europe to Focus on Its Ideals MAY 6, 2016," 12 May 2016

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of deaconess was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Deaconess.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of deaconess

: a woman in some Christian churches who has special duties : a female deacon

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