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[ahrch-dee-kuh n]
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  1. an ecclesiastic, ranking next below a bishop and having charge of the temporal and external administration of a diocese, with jurisdiction delegated from the bishop.
  2. Roman Catholic Church. a title of honor conferred only on a member of a cathedral chapter.
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Origin of archdeacon

before 1000; Middle English archideken, Old English arcediacon < Late Latin archidiāconus < Greek archidiā́konos. See arch-1, deacon
Related formsarch·dea·con·ate, arch·dea·con·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for archdeacon

bishop, pastor, vicar, confessor, curate, preacher, abbot, rector, dean, divine, ecclesiastic, chaplain, prelate, lecturer, shepherd, cleric, clerk, missionary, monk, deacon

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British Dictionary definitions for archdeacon


  1. an Anglican clergyman ranking just below a bishop and having supervisory duties under the bishop
  2. a clergyman of similar rank in other Churches
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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 archdeacon


Old English arcediacon, from Church Latin archidiaconus, from Ecclesiastical Greek arkhidiakonon "chief deacon;" see arch- + deacon.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper