dis·​ci·​ple | \di-ˈsī-pəl \

Definition of disciple 

1 : one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another: such as

a Christianity : one of the twelve in the inner circle of Christ's followers according to the Gospel accounts

b : a convinced adherent of a school or individual a disciple of Freud

2 capitalized, Christianity : a member of the Disciples of Christ founded in the U.S. in 1809 that holds the Bible alone to be the rule of faith and practice, usually baptizes by immersion, and has a congregational (see congregational sense 3) polity

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Other Words from disciple

discipleship \ -​ˌship \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for disciple

follower, adherent, disciple, partisan mean one who gives full loyalty and support to another. follower may apply to people who attach themselves either to the person or beliefs of another. an evangelist and his followers adherent suggests a close and persistent attachment. adherents to Marxism disciple implies a devoted allegiance to the teachings of one chosen as a master. disciples of Gandhi partisan suggests a zealous often prejudiced attachment. partisans of the President

Examples of disciple in a Sentence

a disciple of Sigmund Freud a circle of dedicated disciples who conscientiously wrote down everything the prophet said

Recent Examples on the Web

During their bizarre election campaign, Asahara and his top disciples sang and danced to the guru’s songs. Washington Post, "Cult leader executed for Japan sarin attacks still a mystery," 6 July 2018 Bitcoin’s earliest disciples included technologists and libertarians, along with a few doomsayers who feared catastrophe and currency debasement in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Kevin Warsh, WSJ, "The Meaning of Bitcoin’s Volatility," 7 Mar. 2018 My dad was a disciple in India for a few years before Rajneesh decided to expand in the United States. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "When You Find Out Your Parents Met in a Cult," 24 May 2018 Coach Porter Moser is a Rick Majerus disciple who has the Ramblers spreading the floor as well as any team in the country, with a cast of marksmen who shoot over 50% from the floor. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "NCAA tournament: What makes Loyola-Chicago a Sweet 16 threat after Miami buzzer-beating upset," 15 Mar. 2018 Offensively inclined, Gruden coached NFL offenses under Bill Walsh disciple Mike Holmgren. Tom Krasovic, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Former Raiders star Mike Haynes sees Jon Gruden as the answer," 15 June 2018 This week, design and architecture disciples have shuttled to dozens of workshops and talks about visual culture. Andy Bosselman, San Francisco Chronicle, "As SF Design Week looks to future, William Stout offers old-school design discovery: books," 12 June 2018 And the Islamic State militant group belatedly exalted him as a martyred disciple. Rick Gladstone, New York Times, "What Is Terrorism? Attacks in Canada and Belgium Reflect Uncertain Definition," 31 May 2018 One of the decade’s most influential management cults picked up a prominent new disciple this week— Tesla ’s Elon Musk. Sam Walker, WSJ, "There’s a War on Middle Management and Tesla Just Joined It," 18 May 2018

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for disciple

Middle English, from Old English discipul & Anglo-French disciple, from Late Latin and Latin; Late Latin discipulus follower of Jesus Christ in his lifetime, from Latin, pupil

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Statistics for disciple

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disciple

The first known use of disciple was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for disciple



English Language Learners Definition of disciple

: someone who accepts and helps to spread the teachings of a famous person

: one of a group of 12 men who were sent out to spread the teachings of Jesus Christ


dis·​ci·​ple | \di-ˈsī-pəl \

Kids Definition of disciple

1 : a person who accepts and helps to spread the teachings of another

2 : apostle

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More from Merriam-Webster on disciple

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disciple

Spanish Central: Translation of disciple

Nglish: Translation of disciple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disciple for Arabic Speakers

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a private place of worship

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