an altar attendant in public worship.
Roman Catholic Church.
  1. a member of the highest-ranking of the four minor orders.
  2. the order itself.Compare exorcist(def 2), lector(def 2), ostiary(def 1).
any attendant, assistant, or follower.


Nearby words

  1. acoelomate,
  2. acoelous,
  3. acoenaesthesia,
  4. acol,
  5. acold,
  6. acoma,
  7. acomia,
  8. aconcagua,
  9. aconite,
  10. aconitic

Origin of acolyte

1275–1325; Middle English acolite < Medieval Latin acolytus < Greek akólouthos follower, attendant, equivalent to a- prefix denoting association + -kolouthos, variant of kéleuthos road, journey Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for acolyte

British Dictionary definitions for acolyte



a follower or attendant
Christianity an officer who attends or assists a priest

Word Origin for acolyte

C16: via Old French and Medieval Latin from Greek akolouthos a follower

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 acolyte



early 14c., "inferior officer in the church," from Old French acolite or directly from Medieval Latin acolytus (Late Latin acoluthos), from Greek akolouthos "following, attending on," literally "having one way," from a- "together with," copulative prefix, + keleuthose "a way, road, path, track," from PIE *qeleu- (cf. Lithuanian kelias "way"). In late Old English as a Latin word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper