\ 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

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Other Words from dean


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for dean

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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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 Steven Dekrey, the associate dean of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), says that the classic case studies of large Western corporations developed by American business schools are less pertinent in the Asian context. The Economist, "Masters of Business in Asia," 15 Sep. 2019 The keynote address was delivered Thursday by Bobby Braun, dean of CU Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Charlie Brennan, The Denver Post, "Boulder workshop focuses on future of space commerce," 12 Sep. 2019 Ossoff also announced an endorsement from Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., the dean of Georgia's congressional delegation and a seminal civil rights leader, an endorsement that could help his efforts to win a crowded Democratic primary. Ben Kamisar, NBC News, "Jon Ossoff announces Georgia Senate bid," 10 Sep. 2019 The longtime justice spoke with Katherine Baicker, dean of the Harris School of Public Policy, before about 400 people, reflecting on her career as an attorney battling for women’s rights and her quarter century on the nation’s highest court. Jessica Villagomez,, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks at University of Chicago: ‘She’s a historic role model for our judicial system’," 9 Sep. 2019 Lamb wrote, while adding that students could see the message in the office of their area dean. Annie Sciacca, The Mercury News, "More racist graffiti found at East Bay college campus," 23 Aug. 2019 The class is larger because the pool of applicants was larger this year, up more than 1,000 from the year prior, said Janelle Holmboe, vice president of enrollment management and dean of admissions. Catalina Righter,, "Largest ever first-year class moves into McDaniel College," 22 Aug. 2019 The new study suggests that too little inhibition of brain activity might underlie the link, says Mark Wallace, dean of the graduate school at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, who was not involved in the work. Scientific American, "Visual Task May Offer Brain Marker for Autism," 19 Aug. 2019 He’d already served in various capacities at the school since 2008, including as its dean of admissions, and at a handful of other small, private colleges (among them Wheelock College, which shut down and merged with Boston University last year). Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "The End of an American College," 18 June 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for dean

Last Updated

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for dean

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on dean

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dean

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dean

Spanish Central: Translation of dean

Nglish: Translation of dean for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dean for Arabic Speakers

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).


not being in agreement or harmony

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