noun, often attributive
dep·​u·​ty | \ ˈde-pyə-tē How to pronounce deputy (audio) \
plural deputies

Definition of deputy

1a : a person appointed as a substitute with power to act
b : a second in command or assistant who usually takes charge when his or her superior is absent
2 : a member of the lower house of some legislative assemblies

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Examples of deputy in a Sentence

the club president sent a deputy to the conference to vote on our behalf a deputy supervisor to help out with routine tasks
Recent Examples on the Web Green, who is among about 70 female fire chiefs out of more than 29,000 across the country, had served as a deputy to former chief Benjamin M. Barksdale, who retired last year. Washington Post, "Local Digest: Person is recovered from vehicle submerged in the Potomac," 4 Feb. 2020 The Wienermobile was pulled over by a Waukesha County Sheriff's Department deputy Jan. 26 for not following the Move Over Law. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Oscar Mayer is selling shirts to support the Move Over Law after its Wienermobile was pulled over in Waukesha County," 31 Jan. 2020 One of the most contentious departures, about a year ago, was that of Bob Elliott, a longtime deputy to Mr. Dalio. Rob Copeland, WSJ, "Ray Dalio Is Still Driving His $160 Billion Hedge-Fund Machine," 31 Jan. 2020 Del Valle, meanwhile, sought damages from Thorne and a second deputy, Beau Zastrow, for excessive force. Bob Egelko,, "Court says man hit with a stun gun may sue deputy who shot him," 23 Jan. 2020 In a mug shot released by the constable’s office, a deputy is seen with their hand on Crown’s face. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Gun-toting Big Daddy’s patron found hiding from police in doghouse," 21 Jan. 2020 Delevoye, an experienced politician who has been a mayor, a deputy in the National Assembly, a senator, and a minister, pleaded good-faith ignorance of the rules—an explanation the public greeted with cynicism. Sylvain Cypel, The New York Review of Books, "Why Macron Refuses to Retire in France’s Pensions Battle," 17 Jan. 2020 According to a news release from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy was conducting a traffic stop on the eastbound side of Wadsworth Road just east of Delany Road at around 10:35 p.m. when Kirschhoffer crashed into the squad car. Fox News, "Illinois drunk driver crashes into cop car already engaged in separate traffic stop," 17 Jan. 2020 Philbin, a graduate of Harvard Law School who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is a Cipollone deputy who will also play a big role in Trump’s defense. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Pat Cipollone will lead Trump impeachment defense team as Senate trial set," 14 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deputy.' 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 deputy

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for deputy

Middle English, from Anglo-French deputé, past participle of deputer

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Time Traveler for deputy

Time Traveler

The first known use of deputy was in the 15th century

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Statistics for deputy

Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deputy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for deputy


dep·​u·​ty | \ ˈde-pyə-tē How to pronounce deputy (audio) \
plural deputies

Kids Definition of deputy

: a person who officially acts for or in place of another


dep·​u·​ty | \ ˈde-pyə-tē How to pronounce deputy (audio) \
plural deputies

Legal Definition of deputy

1 : a person appointed as a substitute with power to act
2 : a second in command or assistant who usually takes charge when his or her superior is absent specifically : deputy sheriff

History and Etymology for deputy

Middle French deputé person appointed to exercise authority, from past participle of deputer to appoint, depute

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More from Merriam-Webster on deputy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deputy

Spanish Central: Translation of deputy

Nglish: Translation of deputy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deputy for Arabic Speakers

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