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 O'Neal served as president of the Donald P. Sowell Endowment Committee at the Cincinnati Art Museum and was a docent and board member of the Contemporary Arts Center. Jeanne Houck, The Enquirer, "Helen O'Neal keeps funds on track for National Underground Railroad Freedom Center," 8 Nov. 2020 Harris consulted with William Jarmon, a docent who has volunteered at the Harriet Tubman Museum and Education Center for over a decade. Washington Post, "Why these women just walked Harriet Tubman’s 116-mile journey from the Underground Railroad," 27 Oct. 2020 Still, Maggie Sigle, manager of the museum’s volunteer docent and intern programs, laments the temporary loss of the physical museum, which could have been a place for public discourse during these times. Washington Post, "We now know that the Postal Service can change history. This museum has argued that for decades.," 10 Sep. 2020 Miss McCready returned to Baltimore, serving on Maryland’s nursing school Board of Visitors from 1994 to 2004, and was a docent in its Living History Museum. Frederick N. Rasmussen,, "Esther E. McCready, first African American admitted to University of Maryland School of Nursing, dies," 5 Sep. 2020 Great Painters, Artists, Rogues, Game-Changers and Rebels -Game-Changers, Evolutionists and Rebels, 1 to 2 p.m. Join Leo Pigaty, lecturer, art museum docent and author for this interesting travelogue through art history., "Community News For The West Hartford Edition," 4 Sep. 2020 Joe Romito, a docent and volunteer researcher at the Air and Space Museum, came up with the best number. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, "This World War II Bomber Took More Enemy Fire Than Most Others and Always Came Home," 16 Apr. 2020 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

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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Statistics for docent

Last Updated

18 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Docent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on docent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for docent

Nglish: Translation of docent for Spanish Speakers

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