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[dih-sahy-puh l] /dɪˈsaɪ pəl/
  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.
any follower of Christ.
(initial capital letter) a member of the Disciples of Christ.
a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; follower:
a disciple of Freud.
verb (used with object), discipled, discipling.
Archaic. to convert into a disciple.
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 forms
disciplelike, adjective
discipleship, noun
4. See pupil1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for discipleship
Historical Examples
  • discipleship does not hold out long with the truly understanding.

    Adventures in the Arts Marsden Hartley
  • Our church can be a means of fulfilling our discipleship, but it can also be an obstacle to it.

    Herein is Love

    Reuel L. Howe
  • From 1554 to 1560, abandoning his Pindarism, he was in discipleship to Anacreon1 and Horace.

  • discipleship in which there is no death can never be truly alive.

  • That the gospel does make these a condition of discipleship is plain to every mind.

    Bible Emblems Edward E. Seelye
  • Let us now consider in their right order the conditions of discipleship.

    The Way of Initiation Rudolf Steiner
  • Then there has been manifested in you an emotion which may be the germ of your future discipleship.

    The Way of Initiation Rudolf Steiner
  • Such a spectacle as that will each one of you be who does not count the cost of discipleship.

    Wit and Humor of the Bible Marion D. Shutter
  • He permitted it at best in the inferior grades of discipleship.

    The Religious Sentiment Daniel G. Brinton
  • Here is the pure and peaceful law, he said; here the end of all discipleship!

British Dictionary definitions for discipleship


a follower of the doctrines of a teacher or a school of thought
one of the personal followers of Christ (including his 12 apostles) during his earthly life
Derived Forms
discipleship, noun
discipular (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
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Word Origin and History for discipleship

1540s, from disciple + -ship.



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
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