• synonyms


[doh-suh nt; German doh-tsent]
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  1. privatdocent.
  2. a college or university lecturer.
  3. a person who is a knowledgeable guide, especially one who conducts visitors through a museum and delivers a commentary on the exhibitions.
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Origin of docent

1630–40; < German Dozent < Latin docent- (stem of docēns, present participle of docēre), equivalent to doc- teach + -ent -ent
Related formsdo·cent·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for docent

lecturer, instructor, teacher

Examples from the Web for docent

Historical Examples of docent

  • In the evening at the house of Gizycki (a Docent on Ethics), to a "privatissimum" with a supper after it.

    The Letters of William James, Vol. 1

    William James

  • Doctor Norbert Hanold, docent of archology, really found in the relief nothing noteworthy for his science.

    Delusion and Dream

    Wilhelm Jensen

  • Like the “wonderful one-hoss shay,” the tottering old chair had collapsed and the docent lay sprawling under the ruins.

  • After a course in chemistry, he began the systematic study of medicine and in 1811 became a Privat docent.

  • After spending some time as teacher in a private school, he returned to Leipsic as Privat Docent in the university.

British Dictionary definitions for docent


  1. a voluntary worker who acts as a guide in a museum, art gallery, etc
  2. (dəʊˈsɛnt, German doˈtsɛnt) (in the US) a lecturer in some colleges or universities
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Derived Formsdocentship, noun

Word Origin for docent

C19: from German Dozent, from Latin docēns from docēre to teach
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 docent


1630s, from Latin docentem (nominative docens), present participle of docere "to teach" (see doctor). As a noun, from 1880.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper