[ klurk; British klahrk ]
See synonyms for: clerkclerkish on

  1. a person employed, as in an office, to keep records, file, type, or perform other general office tasks.

  2. a salesclerk.

  1. a person who keeps the records and performs the routine business of a court, legislature, board, etc.

  2. a member of the clergy; ecclesiastic.

  3. a lay person charged with various minor ecclesiastical duties.

  4. Archaic.

    • a person who is able to read, or to read and write.

    • a scholar.

verb (used without object)
  1. to act or serve as a clerk.

Origin of clerk

before 1000; Middle English, Old English clerc, variant of cleric<Late Latin clēricuscleric

Other words from clerk

  • clerkish, adjective
  • clerklike, adjective
  • clerkship, noun
  • outclerk, noun
  • subclerk, noun
  • sub·clerk·ship, noun
  • un·der·clerk, noun
  • un·der·clerk·ship, noun

Words Nearby clerk Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use clerk in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for clerk


/ (klɑːk, US Canadian klɜːrk) /

  1. a worker, esp in an office, who keeps records, files, etc

  2. clerk to the justices (in England) a legally qualified person who sits in court with lay justices to advise them on points of law

  1. an employee of a court, legislature, board, corporation, etc, who keeps records and accounts, etc: a town clerk

  2. Also called: clerk of the House British a senior official of the House of Commons

  3. Also called: clerk in holy orders a cleric

  4. US and Canadian short for salesclerk

  5. Also called: desk clerk US and Canadian a hotel receptionist

  6. archaic a scholar

  1. (intr) to serve as a clerk

Origin of clerk

Old English clerc, from Church Latin clēricus, from Greek klērikos cleric, relating to the heritage (alluding to the Biblical Levites, whose inheritance was the Lord), from klēros heritage

Derived forms of clerk

  • clerkdom, noun
  • clerkish, adjective
  • clerkship, noun

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