\ ˈdēn How to pronounce dean (audio) \

Definition of dean

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the head of the chapter of a collegiate or cathedral church
b : a Roman Catholic priest who supervises one district of a diocese
2a : 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


biographical name
\ ˈdēn How to pronounce Dean (audio) \

Definition of Dean (Entry 2 of 2)

Sir Patrick 1909–1994 British diplomat

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from dean


dean intransitive verb
deanship \ ˈdēn-​ˌship How to pronounce deanship (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dean

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of dean in a Sentence

Noun She's the dean of the university's business school. the dean of liberal arts
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun From Democrats’ perspective, said Erwin Chemerinsky, the UC Berkeley Law School dean, Republicans engaged in court-packing by denying a hearing to President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, in 2016 and now rushing Barrett’s appointment. Bob Egelko,, "Why Joe Biden, Kamala Harris are dodging ‘court-packing’ question," 9 Oct. 2020 His grandfather, George Francis Fabyan Lombard, was a senior associate dean at Harvard for 41 years. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "George Lombard developed an AL MVP. Should Detroit Tigers give him a chance?," 6 Oct. 2020 Once the models are crafted by a group of in-house engineers and medical staff, reviewed by the innovation team and associate dean, and released, the social scientists study their real-world impacts. Erin Brodwin, STAT, "With ‘nutrition labels’ and an anthropologist’s eye, Duke pioneers a new approach to AI in medicine," 5 Oct. 2020 Perkins, of Keller, is a former associate dean at the business school at University of Texas at Dallas. Dave Lieber, Dallas News, "Grade F: A new report from Texas lawmakers on your Internet privacy is a dud and waste of time," 2 Oct. 2020 Other constitutional law experts disagree that the measure is on weak ground, including Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law. Patrick Mcgreevy, Los Angeles Times, "Newsom signs law mandating more diversity in California corporate boardrooms," 30 Sep. 2020 Nichols’ ruling does not affect the second order Trump signed that requires ByteDance to divest from TikTok in the U.S., said Robert Chesney, an associate dean at the University of Texas School of Law. Washington Post, "The Trump administration cannot prohibit personal communications in the TikTok case, a judge said.," 28 Sep. 2020 Nearly two decades after a two-year stint in the NFL, Walton is back at Bishop’s and still multitasking as an assistant athletic director and associate dean of students. John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Walton has little free time at Bishop’s," 25 Sep. 2020 Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at the University of California at Berkeley, wrote an op-ed for The Los Angeles Times in March 2014 urging Ginsburg to step down. Emily Bazelon, New York Times, "Why Ruth Bader Ginsburg Refused to Step Down," 21 Sep. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of dean


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

History and Etymology for dean


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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dean

Time Traveler for dean

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for dean

Last Updated

14 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dean.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dean


How to pronounce Dean (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dean

: a person who is in charge of one of the parts of a university (such as a college or school)
: a person whose job is to give advice to the students in a college or high school and to make sure that they obey the school's rules
US : a person who has more experience in or knowledge about a particular profession, subject, etc., than anyone or almost anyone


\ ˈdēn How to pronounce dean (audio) \

Kids Definition of dean

1 : a church official in charge of a cathedral
2 : the head of a section (as a college) of a university the dean of the medical school
3 : an official in charge of students or studies in a school or college the dean of women

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on dean

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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