a cleric ranking just below an archdeacon, in charge of an archdeaconry.
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Origin of rural dean
late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for rural dean
mainly British a clergyman having authority over a group of parishes
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