There are 2 main definitions of dean in English:

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dean 1

Line breaks: dean

noun

1The head of the chapter of a cathedral or collegiate church.
Example sentences
  • The statutes governing most English cathedrals give the dean and chapter together a considerable degree of independence from episcopal control.
  • Now the dean and chapter of the cathedral has withdrawn its backing, after strong objections by residents.
  • The plans are being led by the church's vicar, Canon Derek Jackson, a former dean of Bradford Cathedral.
1.1 (also rural dean, area dean) British A member of the clergy exercising supervision over a group of parochial clergy within a division of an archdeaconry.
Example sentences
  • St David's was built for the Rev Gilbert Holmes, the Protestant dean of Ardfert and a member of the prominent local Holmes family, who had arrived in 1728.
  • There are other important people in the diocese who have to be there too, such as the archdeacons and rural deans.
  • The rural dean is appointed by the bishop to act as a channel of communication between himself and the clergy of the parishes which make up his deanery.
2The head of a university faculty or department or of a medical school.
Example sentences
  • The revenue from those patents goes both to the two inventors and to their universities' deans, department chiefs, and many others.
  • Gordon was also a major figure in university life, serving two terms as dean of the medical faculty, one term as vice principal, and on many committees.
  • As to the first event, the letter from the President of the University seeks from its deans and department heads a statement of vision for their respective schools and departments.
Synonyms
faculty head, department head, head of faculty, head of department, college head, provost, university official;
head, chief, director, leader, principal, president, governor
2.1(In a college or university, especially Oxford or Cambridge) a senior member of a college, with disciplinary and advisory functions.
Example sentences
  • His sister's married to the son of a head dean at Oxford University.
  • The college dean subsequently emailed students expressing his great alarm at their dangerous actions.
  • Bill Michael is the university's assistant vice president for student life and associate dean of the college.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French deien, from late Latin decanus 'chief of a group of ten', from decem 'ten'. Compare with doyen.

Words that rhyme with dean

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Definition of dean in:

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There are 2 main definitions of dean in English:

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dean 2 Line breaks: dean

noun

Variant spelling of dene1.

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