doyen

noun
doy·​en | \ ˈdȯi-ən How to pronounce doyen (audio) , -ˌ(y)en; ˈdwä-ˌyaⁿ(n) How to pronounce doyen (audio) \

Definition of doyen

1a : the senior member of a body or group
b : a person considered to be knowledgeable or uniquely skilled as a result of long experience in some field of endeavor
2 : the oldest example of a category

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English picked up doyen from French in the 17th century. The French word in turn comes, via the Old French deien, from the Late Latin word decanus, which itself comes from the Greek dekanos, meaning "chief of ten." A doyen can be a leader of a group, such as a diplomatic corps. In this regard, the word has been used to refer to someone who is specifically or tacitly allowed to speak for that group. More broadly, a doyen refers to a highly skilled and respected veteran of a particular field. The feminine form of doyen is doyenne.

Examples of doyen in a Sentence

He is considered the doyen of political journalists. considered the doyen of American art critics
Recent Examples on the Web That’s exactly what Charles Onyango-Obbo, the doyen of east African journalism, Ugandan by birth, and pan-African by work—his footprints are to be found everywhere, from Nairobi to Johannesburg—seeks to redress. Peter Kimani, Quartz, 8 Jan. 2022 Even after a strong post-pandemic recovery, shares such as GM and VW are very lowly rated relative to EV specialists, which offer investors huge growth potential, as well as to luxury doyen Ferrari. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, 23 Dec. 2021 For the eternally young doyen of the Broadway musical, even revivals were an opportunity for trying something new. Los Angeles Times, 26 Nov. 2021 Last and dandiest is Roebuck Wright (Jeffrey Wright), a doyen of the Tastes and Smells department, who is hot on the scent of cuisine gendarmique. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 22 Oct. 2021 As habits go, stagewear collecting could be outré for anyone not named Marty Stuart, the guitarist and country doyen whose other hats have included Travis Tritt co-writer, sideman to Johnny Cash and TV emcee. Nathan Rizzo | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 30 Aug. 2021 In the face of a deficit of tens of thousands of votes in a close count following Peru’s June 6 presidential election, Keiko Fujimori, the 46-year-old doyen of a right-wing political dynasty, declined to concede. BostonGlobe.com, 16 June 2021 In the face of a deficit of tens of thousands of votes in a close count following Peru’s June 6 presidential election, Keiko Fujimori, the 46-year-old doyen of a right-wing political dynasty, declined to concede. Washington Post, 16 June 2021 Only Andersson, the doyen of inaction movies, could offer beatitudes to the ineffectual and the zonked. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 30 Apr. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'doyen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of doyen

1670, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for doyen

French, from Old French deien, from Late Latin decanus dean — more at dean

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Dictionary Entries Near doyen

doxycycline

doyen

doyenne

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Cite this Entry

“Doyen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/doyen. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about doyen

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