docent

noun

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.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web My mother, who outlived two husbands and two sisters, had been a schoolteacher, Sierra Club hiker and a Los Angeles County Zoo docent, until dementia set in and robbed her of memory and her ability to care for herself. Sherry Mendelson, WSJ, 15 Nov. 2022 Steve Walker, Midway Museum docent; and Bob Bourdette, from Advocate Health. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Sep. 2022 Fridays and are led by a docent who has pilot qualifications. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, 26 Oct. 2022 The two moved to Ann Arbor to start a family, where Patton Moss worked as a docent at the University of Michigan Museum of Art and was involved in several local organizations. Jessica Wang, EW.com, 22 Aug. 2022 The couple relocated to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Moss began a career as a businesswoman, raised a family of three children and served as a docent at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Variety, NBC News, 22 Aug. 2022 The couple relocated to Ann Arbor, Mich., where Moss began a career as a businesswoman, raised a family of three children and served as a docent at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. J. Kim Murphy, Variety, 21 Aug. 2022 Chance, a history buff, was a docent with the organization and one of its youngest board members ever. Pam Mcloughlin, Hartford Courant, 12 July 2022 The museum briefly paid a high school student to be a docent in the summer, but now all the work is done by volunteers. Tom Henderson | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 25 July 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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1880, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of docent was in 1880

Dictionary Entries Near docent

Cite this Entry

“Docent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/docent. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

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