[ dee-kuh n ]
/ ˈdi kən /


(in hierarchical churches) a member of the clerical order next below that of a priest.
(in other churches) an appointed or elected officer having variously defined duties.
(in Freemasonry) either of two officers in a masonic lodge.

verb (used with object)

Nearby words

  1. dea.,
  2. deaccelerate,
  3. deaccession,
  4. deacetylate,
  5. deacidify,
  6. deacon seat,
  7. deaconess,
  8. deaconry,
  9. deactivate,
  10. deacylase

Origin of deacon

before 900; Middle English deken, Old English diacon < Late Latin diāconus < Greek diā́konos servant, minister, deacon, equivalent to diā- dia- + -konos service

Related formsdea·con·ship, nounun·der·dea·con, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deacon

British Dictionary definitions for deacon


/ (ˈdiːkən) /

noun Christianity

(in the Roman Catholic and other episcopal churches) an ordained minister ranking immediately below a priest
(in Protestant churches) a lay official appointed or elected to assist the minister, esp in secular affairs
Scot the president of an incorporated trade or body of craftsmen in a burgh
Related formsRelated adjective: diaconal

Derived Formsdeaconship, noun

Word Origin for deacon

Old English, ultimately from Greek diakonos servant

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 deacon



Old English deacon, diacon, from Late Latin diaconus, from Greek diakonos "servant of the church, religious official," literally "servant," from dia- "thoroughly" + PIE *kon-o-, from root *ken- "to set oneself in motion."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper