do·​cent | \ ˈdō-sᵊnt How to pronounce docent (audio) , dō(t)-ˈsent How to pronounce docent (audio) \

Definition of docent

1 : a college or university teacher or lecturer
2 : a person who leads guided tours especially through a museum or art gallery

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Did You Know?

The title of docent is used in many countries for what Americans would call an associate professor—that is, a college or university teacher who has been given tenure but hasn't yet achieved the rank of full professor. But in the U.S. a docent is a guide who works at a museum, a historical site, or even a zoo or a park. Docents are usually volunteers, and their services are often free of charge.

Examples of docent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For visitors, there are a museum and gift shop, and free docent tours are offered Monday through Saturday mornings when the church is not in use. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "Free things to do in Tucson: 10 activities you can do with no money," 16 Jan. 2020 Over 300 Re-enactors act as docents who share a wealth of information about life as a WWII military person., "The plane overran a runway in Pennsylvania in 1987, the NTSB said. In 1995, its landing gear failed to deploy in Nebraska.," 9 Oct. 2019 The bus departs Buehler’s River Styx in Medina at 9:30 a.m., and includes lunch at the famous Tony Packo’s, as well as a private docent for the exhibition and free time to explore this gem of a museum. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "One lesson was a cut above the rest: Whit & Whimsey," 6 Mar. 2020 With a small amount of encouragement, the docent will expound on the Presleys. Verna Gates, al, "How to spend 24 hours in Tupelo, Mississippi," 30 Dec. 2019 Costumed docents, holiday refreshments and periodic entertainment. Briana Rice,, "Holiday Guide 2019: Christmas lights, trains, Santa and other holiday events in Cincinnati," 14 Nov. 2019 The subsequent summer, interns become docents, leading groups on tours around the conservatory several times a day. Marie Fazio,, "West Side teens become ‘plant experts’ for Garfield Park Conservatory through Chicago’s Urban Roots program: ‘You see their confidence build'," 31 July 2019 Pinkerton, a volunteer docent at the cemetery since 2011, has been giving some version of the presentation for six years. Gal Tziperman Lotan,, "On the eve of MLK Day, group remembers black lives at Mount Auburn Cemetery," 19 Jan. 2020 And 11 docents stationed around the home marked the works and artists in each room, which included many contemporary and Latin-American pieces by Elaine de Kooning, John Chamberlain, Alex Katz, Helen Frankenthaler, and Billy Childish, among others. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Latin-American art, avant garde fashion steal the show at CAMH's "Another Great Night" in River Oaks," 22 Nov. 2019

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

1880, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for docent

obsolete German (now Dozent), from Latin docent-, docens, present participle of docēre — see docile

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Time Traveler for docent

Time Traveler

The first known use of docent was in 1880

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Cite this Entry

“Docent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on docent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for docent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with docent

Nglish: Translation of docent for Spanish Speakers

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