\ 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

doyen, elder, elder statesman, éminence grise, nestor, senior

Antonyms: Noun

baby, junior

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Examples of dean in a Sentence


She's the dean of the university's business school. the dean of liberal arts

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The charges against Strampel stemmed from his actions as dean from 2002 to 2018, as well as his failure to properly oversee Nassar, according to court documents. Eric Levenson, CNN, "Michigan State University is fined a record $4.5 million for the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal," 5 Sep. 2019 Jeffrey Sonnenfeld is the senior associate dean at the Yale School of Management. Fortune, "Energy Companies Have the Power to Act on Social Purpose," 5 Sep. 2019 Codone is the senior associate dean of academic affairs at the Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia. Susan Codone, Twin Cities, "Susan Codone: Protestants must step up efforts to stop sexual abuse in churches," 28 Aug. 2019 Yasha will play Suzanne, Astoria University dean and Ben's ex-girlfriend. Megan Stein, Country Living, "This ‘Blue Bloods’ Actress Is Joining the Cast of ‘Manifest'," 28 Aug. 2019 Black is currently the interim dean of the university’s college of medicine. Michael Mccann,, "How James Franklin, Penn State Could Be Impacted by Ex-Team Physician's Lawsuit," 26 Aug. 2019 The school is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year and also saw the appointment of a new deputy director, Gillian Choa, who was previously the dean of Hong Kong's School of Theatre and Entertainment Arts. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Top 15 Top International Film Schools," 15 Aug. 2019 Crosby was dean of the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, after having served as budget chief under Governor Paul Cellucci and chief of staff under Acting Governor Jane Swift. Shirley Leung,, "The former gaming commission chairman offers first impression of Encore: ‘Holy cow!’," 7 Aug. 2019 Davis is dean of San Diego’s congressional delegation and its second woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to the news release. Morgan Cook, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Rep. Susan Davis to retire, won’t run for reelection in 2020," 4 Sep. 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

11 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for dean

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dean

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


to make a temporary encampment

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