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deaconess

[dee-kuh-nis] /ˈdi kə nɪs/
noun
1.
(in certain Protestant churches) a woman belonging to an order or sisterhood dedicated to the care of the sick or poor or who is engaging in other social-service duties, as teaching or missionary work.
2.
a woman elected by a church to assist the clergy.
Origin of deaconess
1530-1540
1530-40; earlier deaconisse, part translation, part adoption of Late Latin diāconissa, feminine of diāconus deacon; see -ess
Usage note
See -ess.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for deaconess
Historical Examples
  • The field of work of the deaconess in modern times is a large one.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
  • The deaconess institutions have the good features, but have avoided the ill.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
  • The first deaconess was Gertrude Reichardt, the daughter of a physician.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
  • In marked contrast to Dettelsau is the deaconess house at Berne.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
  • The deaconess home has also branches of work in different parts of France.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
  • Many sorrows which he overlooks the deaconess can discern and assuage.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
  • Vexing questions have arisen as to how the deaconess should be set apart to her work.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
  • Adjoining the hall, at the west end, was built the deaconess house.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
  • On Sunday, December 9, 1888, the first deaconess was set apart to her duties.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
  • Harriet pushed her away and put her hand on his forehead, then nodded at the deaconess.

    Margarita's Soul Ingraham Lovell
British Dictionary definitions for deaconess

deaconess

/ˈdiːkənɪs/
noun
1.
(Christianity) (in the early church and in some modern Churches) a female member of the laity with duties similar to those of a deacon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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