deaconess

[ dee-kuh-nis ]
/ ˈdi kə nɪs /

noun

(in certain Protestant churches) a woman belonging to an order or sisterhood dedicated to the care of the sick or poor or who is engaging in other social-service duties, as teaching or missionary work.
a woman elected by a church to assist the clergy.

Origin of deaconess

1530–40; earlier deaconisse, part translation, part adoption of Late Latin diāconissa, feminine of diāconus deacon; see -ess

usage note for deaconess

See -ess.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for deaconess

deaconess
/ (ˈdiːkənɪs) /

noun

Christianity (in the early church and in some modern Churches) a female member of the laity with duties similar to those of a deacon
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