disciple

noun
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

The home was built and designed in 1955 by architect Alexander James, Jr., a disciple of Germany’s inaugural modernist Walter Gropius. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Midcentury modern on 135 acres asks $1.2M," 29 Nov. 2018 Feeling pressure from his overbearing father, a disciple of toxic masculinity, Jack decides to enlist in the war. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Is Us Season 3 Episode 4 Finally Introduces Jack's Brother Nicky," 17 Oct. 2018 Then there are the disciples of Starr who have risen to the highest ranks of government. Dan Zak, The Seattle Times, "The Starr Report got a president impeached 20 years ago, and Ken Starr wants to remind you why," 11 Sep. 2018 Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia University’s law school, is Brandeis’s most avid contemporary disciple. Richard A. Epstein, WSJ, "‘The Curse of Bigness’ Review: Revisiting the Gilded Age," 2 Dec. 2018 Miami could look going quarterback here, but Adam Gase – a Nick Saban disciple – goes with the Jim Thorpe Award winner. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "Mock Draft 4.0: Cowboys taking a linebacker; Josh Allen No. 1 overall to Browns | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 25 Apr. 2018 Jesus warned his disciples that a camel would have an easier time squeezing through the eye of a needle than a rich man trying to get into God’s kingdom. William Wan, The Seattle Times, "Are rich people more likely to lie, cheat, steal? Science explains the world of Manafort and Gates.," 13 Aug. 2018 O’Brien, though, has been the most successful of the Belichick's disciples with the Patriots. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions coach search: Will Bill Belichick coaching tree bear fruit?," 6 Jan. 2018 Saloons, cafes and cabarets were all the scene last night of festivities which will live long in the memory of all past disciples of the wine god. sandiegouniontribune.com, "July 1, 1919: Prohibition begins," 1 July 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, "follower of Jesus, one of the apostles, pupil," in part going back to Old English discipul, in part borrowed from Anglo-French disciple, both borrowed from Late Latin discipulus "follower of Christ, apostle" (translation of Greek mathētḗs), going back to Latin, "pupil, learner," of uncertain origin

Note: Traditionally explained as a derivative of discere "to learn," but the second element -pulus is neither a known word nor a suffix. According to an alternative explanation, the base is nominalized from an unattested verb *discipere, putatively, "to grasp, comprehend," from dis- dis- and capere "to take, seize" (cf. disceptāre "to dispute, debate," supposedly a frequentative from this verb); this is semantically questionable, however, and -ulus is any case not an agentive suffix.

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Statistics for disciple

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for disciple

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

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More Definitions for disciple

disciple

noun

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

disciple

noun
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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