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

The museum is popular with school groups; beat the crowds by booking a private tour, led by a museum docent. Robyn Eckhardt, WSJ, "Two Strategic Days in Singapore: Where to Splurge, Where to Save," 4 Jan. 2019 Following her retirement, Carrie was a docent at the New Britain Museum of American Art. Carrie Simon,, "Carrie Simon," 20 May 2018 Pictured are docent Marianne Dickey (center) with museum visitors Kate and Jeff Bienduga. Linda Mcintosh,, "Historical Society looking for docents," 4 May 2018 Volunteer docents make the visit memorable for many. Bonnie Gross,, "Explore Florida's Manatee County: Tiny Cortez on Florida's Gulf Coast is big on seafood," 6 May 2018 All of these details were alluded to on our cruise during a series of interviews between docent Ron Ucovich and his merry characters. Beth Spotswood, San Francisco Chronicle, "A cruise back in time on the ‘Floating White House’," 25 Apr. 2018 Join The Chronicle for a private docent tour of The Art of Rube Goldberg. San Francisco Chronicle, "Private docent tour at the Contemporary Jewish Museum," 1 June 2018 The Chicago Architecture Foundation, which declined to comment on how much of its revenue comes from river cruises, uses a team of 450 volunteer docents to guide more than 400,000 visitors on its tours. Hailey Mensik,, "Architecture tours lead the way in bringing visitors to increasingly crowded Chicago River," 5 July 2018 Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion: Visitors learn about the Pabst Mansion on a docent-led guided tour of three floors, Sunday noon-3 p.m.; Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 2000 W. Wisconsin Ave. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A listing of home and garden events for the Milwaukee area (Summer 2018 edition)," 4 July 2018

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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Learn More about docent

Dictionary Entries near docent


Doccia ware

docendo discimus





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Time Traveler for docent

The first known use of docent was in 1880

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More from Merriam-Webster on docent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with docent

Nglish: Translation of docent for Spanish Speakers

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to take the place or position of

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