apostle

[uh-pos-uh l]

noun


Origin of apostle

before 950; Middle English, variant of apostel, apostol, Old English apostol (compare Old Frisian apostol, Old High German apostol(o), German Apostel) < Late Latin apostolus < Greek apóstolos literally, one who is sent out; akin to apostéllein to send off; see apo-. Compare, with loss of initial unstressed a-, Middle English postle, postel, Old English postol (> Old Norse postuli) Old High German postul
Related formsa·pos·tle·hood, a·pos·tle·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for apostleship

apostle

noun

(often capital) one of the 12 disciples chosen by Christ to preach his gospel
any prominent Christian missionary, esp one who first converts a nation or people
an ardent early supporter of a cause, reform movement, etc
Mormon Church a member of a council of twelve officials appointed to administer and preside over the Church

Word Origin for apostle

Old English apostol, from Church Latin apostolus, from Greek apostolos a messenger, from apostellein to send forth
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 apostleship

apostle

n.

Old English apostol "messenger," especially the 12 witnesses sent forth by Jesus to preach his Gospel, from Late Latin apostolus, from Greek apostolos "messenger, person sent forth," from apostellein "send away, send forth," from apo- "from" (see apo-) + stellein in its secondary sense of "to send," from PIE *stel-yo-, suffixed form of root *stel- "to put, stand," with derivatives referring to a standing object or place (see stall (n.1)). Cf. epistle.

The current form of the word, predominant since 16c., is influenced by Old French apostle (12c.), from the same Late Latin source. Figurative sense of "chief advocate of a new principle or system" is from 1810. Apostles, short for "The Acts and Epistles of the Apostles," is attested from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper