dean

noun

1
a
: the head of the chapter of a collegiate or cathedral church
b
: a Roman Catholic priest who supervises one district of a diocese
2
a
: the head of a division, faculty, college, or school of a university
b
: a college or secondary school administrator in charge of counseling and disciplining students
3
dean intransitive verb
deanship noun

Example Sentences

She's the dean of the university's business school. the dean of liberal arts
Recent Examples on the Web For much of that period he was considered the dean of the Richmond press corps, known for his tough, aggressive questioning and for his shambling style, which led friends to liken him to Columbo. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, 28 Dec. 2022 The authors found that 75 percent of the presidents in their sample entered the presidency via a previous academic position — such as a dean or provost —which is typical. Marybeth Gasman, Forbes, 20 Dec. 2022 Four days after the class, Dr. López Prater was summoned to a video meeting with the dean of the college of liberal arts, Marcela Kostihova. Vimal Patel, New York Times, 8 Jan. 2023 The dean of the graduate faculty asked Bernstein to join a committee that would help decide the fate of the philosophy department. Jordi Graupera, The New Yorker, 3 Jan. 2023 On my first day of college, 200 eager freshmen sat in an auditorium, listening to the dean of the school of communications give us a reality check with sobering statistics about our competitive field. Alisyn Camerota, CNN, 31 Dec. 2022 Church watchers, on the lookout after Pope Francis said the former pope’s health had declined, expect to preside over the funeral itself, whereas that responsibility traditionally falls to the dean of the College of Cardinals. Sammy Westfall, Washington Post, 31 Dec. 2022 Henry launched a ceramics program at Ohio University and eventually became the dean of the Fine Arts College. Briana A. Thomas, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Dec. 2022 On the first day of the fall semester, Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the law school at the University of California, Berkeley, learned that a student group created a bylaw that banned supporters of Zionism from speaking at its events. Vimal Patel, BostonGlobe.com, 21 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dean.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English deen, from Anglo-French deen, deien, from Late Latin decanus chief of ten, from Greek dekanos, from deka ten — more at ten

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of dean was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near dean

Cite this Entry

“Dean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dean. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

dean

noun
1
: the head of the chapter of a cathedral church
2
a
: the head of a division, faculty, college, or school of a university
b
: a college or secondary school administrator in charge of counseling or disciplining students
3
: the senior member of a group
the dean of the diplomatic corps
deanship noun

Biographical Definition

Dean

biographical name

Sir Patrick 1909–1994 British diplomat

More from Merriam-Webster on dean

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