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[doi-en, doi-uh n; French dwa-yan] /dɔɪˈɛn, ˈdɔɪ ən; French dwaˈyɛ̃/
noun, plural doyens
[doi-enz, doi-enz; French dwa-yan] /dɔɪˈɛnz, ˈdɔɪ ɛnz; French dwaˈyɛ̃/ (Show IPA)
the senior member, as in age, rank, or experience, of a group, class, profession, etc.
Origin of doyen
1665-75; < French; Old French deien < Latin decānus dean1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for doyen
Historical Examples
  • It was a noble vintage, and the doyen grew eloquent over it.

    Despair's Last Journey David Christie Murray
  • In those days the doyen of the fleet was Captain Samuel Blandford.

    A Labrador Doctor

    Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
  • He was, at the time of his death at the age of eighty years, the doyen of the trade.

    Printers' Marks William Roberts
  • doyen had scruples; but recommended Fragonard for the naughty business.


    Haldane Macfall
  • The details of this doyen club will be found in its proper place, p. 99 et seq.

    Yachting Vol. 2 Various.
  • The senior member or doyen of a society is often called the father.

  • The room where doyen was working was close to the Hermitage.

    The Memoirs of Madame Vige Lebrun Marie Louise Elisabeth Vige-Lebrun
  • The Huntingdon was the doyen of London clubs; its titled members could 39 have filled a very large volume.

    Colorado Jim

    George Goodchild
  • The doyen de Killérine—the third of Prévost's long books—is "infinitely agreeable," "si l'on y met un peu de complaisance."

  • The Emperor made a suitable reply in Chinese which was translated by the doyen's interpreter.

    Two Years in the Forbidden City The Princess Der Ling
British Dictionary definitions for doyen


/ˈdɔɪən; French dway/
the senior member of a group, profession, or society
Derived Forms
doyenne (dɔɪˈɛn; French) (dwajɛn) noun:feminine
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Late Latin decānus leader of a group of ten; see dean
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 doyen

early 15c., from Middle French doyen "commander of ten," from Old French deien (see dean).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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