noun, often attributive
dep·​u·​ty | \ˈde-pyə-tē \
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

But in the two months since that statement was made, deputy commissioner Bill Daly in multiple interviews has strongly hinted the NHL favors a later start date. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "NHL could announce October 2021 start date for new Seattle team as early as Tuesday," 3 Dec. 2018 Vitiello previously served as the acting deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Ronald Vitiello nominated by Trump to run ICE," 6 Aug. 2018 On the cusp of President Donald Trump’s planned meeting with Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin, Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, released indictments with profound implications for relations between the two countries. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "New indictments complicate the Trump-Russia relationship.," 13 July 2018 All incidents are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, which are subject to a ruling from commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Suspended L.A. Kings defenseman Slava Voynov now able to apply for reinstatement," 2 July 2018 Vitiello was named chief of the U.S. Border Patrol in February 2017 and served as U.S. Customs and Border Protection acting deputy commissioner later that year. Angela Forburger, azcentral, "Movement to 'Abolish ICE' grows amid Trump's hard-liner immigration enforcement," 1 July 2018 Trump Effect The deputy attorney general and the FBI director are under fire for what some in the GOP believe is a plot against President Donald Trump. NBC News, "Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, FBI Director Wray face angry House Republicans," 28 June 2018 Jose Daniel Saenz, a former deputy Texas insurance commissioner, said he was briefed about Safe Harbor during this multistate review that studied how insurance money was used to help buy the Dodgers. Leslie Scism, WSJ, "L.A. Dodgers Are Part of an Unorthodox $20 Billion Plan to Backstop Insurers," 24 Nov. 2018 The door to their home had been kicked in and Jayme was nowhere to be seen, even though deputies were at the house within four minutes of the call. Ivan Moreno, The Seattle Times, "Missing Wisconsin girl’s family faces painful holiday season," 21 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for deputy

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deputy

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

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More Definitions for deputy


dep·​u·​ty | \ˈde-pyə-tē \
plural deputies

Kids Definition of deputy

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


dep·​u·​ty | \ˈde-pyə-tē \
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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