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disciple

[dih-sahy-puh l]
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noun
  1. Religion.
    1. one of the 12 personal followers of Christ.
    2. one of the 70 followers sent forth by Christ. Luke 10:1.
    3. any other professed follower of Christ in His lifetime.
  2. any follower of Christ.
  3. (initial capital letter) a member of the Disciples of Christ.
  4. a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; follower: a disciple of Freud.
verb (used with object), dis·ci·pled, dis·ci·pling.
  1. Archaic. to convert into a disciple.
  2. Obsolete. to teach; train.

Origin of disciple

before 900; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin discipulus, equivalent to dis- dis-1 + -cip(ere), combining form of capere to take + -ulus -ule; replacing Middle English deciple < Anglo-French de(s)ciple; replacing Old English discipul < Latin, as above
Related formsdis·ci·ple·like, adjectivedis·ci·ple·ship, noun

Synonyms

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4. See pupil1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for disciples

disciple

noun
  1. a follower of the doctrines of a teacher or a school of thought
  2. one of the personal followers of Christ (including his 12 apostles) during his earthly life
Derived Formsdiscipleship, noundiscipular (dɪˈsɪpjʊlə), adjective

Word Origin

Old English discipul, from Latin discipulus pupil, from discere to learn
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

Word Origin and History for disciples

disciple

n.

Old English discipul (fem. discipula), Biblical borrowing from Latin discipulus "pupil, student, follower," said to be from discere "to learn" [OED, Watkins], from a reduplicated form of PIE root *dek- "to take, accept" (see decent).

But according to Barnhart and Klein, from a lost compound *discipere "to grasp intellectually, analyze thoroughly," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + capere "to take, take hold of" (see capable). Cf. Latin capulus "handle" from capere. Sometimes glossed in Old English by þegn (see thane).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

disciples in Culture

disciples

The followers of Jesus, who adhered to his teaching and transmitted it to others. The Twelve Apostles were the disciples closest to Jesus.

Note

In general, a disciple is an active follower of a leader or movement, religious or otherwise.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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