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 Emilio Arteaga, the beloved longtime deacon at St. Agatha’s, a Roman Catholic church in Brooklyn, died from Covid-19 on Good Friday this year. James Estrin, New York Times, "Staying Apart, But Praying Together," 15 Nov. 2020 Last year, deacon George Brignac was charged with raping a child between 1979 and 1982. Ramon Antonio Vargas,, "Rev. Pat Wattigny, Louisiana priest accused of sexual abuse, arrested in Georgia," 23 Oct. 2020 Arthur Daniels, an 86-year-old deacon who liked to sing gospel songs, was living in an outdated nursing home when the pandemic arrived. Max Blau, ProPublica, "He Wanted to Fix Rural America’s Broken Nursing Homes. Now, Taxpayers May Be on the Hook for $76 Million.," 22 Sep. 2020 Before his ordination as a priest, Gregory started his religious service as a deacon at Mary, Seat of Wisdom Catholic Church in Park Ridge. Jennifer Johnson,, "‘He never forgot where he came from’: Before Wilton Gregory was named the first Black cardinal in the US, he got his start in the Chicago suburbs," 2 Nov. 2020 Without fanfare or a public commemoration of his life, Moss, 67, a deacon in his church and respected civic leader in his rural community, was ushered into the ground. Phillip Morris, National Geographic, "2020 has tested our humanity. Where do we go from here?," 13 Oct. 2020 Meanwhile, Brignac, a former deacon, was acquitted in Jefferson Parish of child molestation charges in 1978. Sara Pagones,, "Priest who allegedly admitted 2013 child sex abuse under investigation by St. Tammany deputies," 15 Oct. 2020 In 1923, a visionary, tech-savvy deacon at Calvary Baptist Church, on West 57th Street, rigged up a low-wattage transmitter to spread the gospel via the new medium of radio. Katrina Gulliver, WSJ, "‘God in Gotham’ Review: Spires and Skyscrapers," 14 Oct. 2020 He was ordained as deacon of the Catholic Church and, in 2009, Vargas left the corporate world for the ministry, serving Our Lady of Angels in downtown San Diego and later Mary, Star of the Sea in La Jolla. Jan Goldsmith, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Someone San Diego Should Know: Jim Vargas," 3 Sep. 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

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deacon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 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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