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

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 The length of the hike will be determined by the docent/leader considering weather and conditions. Hartford Courant, 29 Apr. 2022 Become a docent at one of L.A.'s funkiest high-desert landscapes. Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2022 His interest in flying spurred him to become a docent for the San Diego Air & Space Museum in his spare time. San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Sep. 2021 Connie Nelson, executive director of the Alf Engen Ski Museum in Park City, where Rytting was both part of an exhibit and a docent, agreed Rytting’s influence went well beyond her trophies. The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 Mar. 2022 Christmas also enjoyed serving as a docent for the Ernest Hemingway Foundation in Oak Park, including conducting tours of the home where Hemingway was born. Bob Goldsborough,, 7 Feb. 2022 Diana Pratt-Simar, a historian/docent at Donner Memorial State Park, says snow can catch people unawares. Washington Post, 13 Jan. 2022 At some point, the zoo had an elderly elephant named Gita that would take a walk with a docent through the zoo before the public arrived, as part of the enrichment of her life. Washington Post, 17 Jan. 2022 The docent can present multiple sessions during the school day to a maximum of 25 to 30 students per session. Austin Hewitt,, 8 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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docendo discimus



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Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Docent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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