Definition of clerk in English:


Syllabification: clerk
Pronunciation: /klərk


  • 1A person employed in an office or bank to keep records and accounts and to undertake other routine administrative duties: a bank clerk
    More example sentences
    • Many male artistes feel constrained to continue as bank clerks or chartered accountants, even though they know that a career in music demands full-time effort.
    • In one exercise, they caught a solicitor, a doctor, two bank clerks and an accountant for ‘short fares’.
    • Most intriguing of all will be the many guns lurking around the Mound from the days when bank clerks routinely settled disputes with their customers by fighting a duel.
    office worker, clerical worker, administrator; bookkeeper; cashier, teller
    informal pencil pusher, paper-shuffler
    historical scrivener
  • 1.1An official in charge of the records of a local council or court: a clerk to the court
    More example sentences
    • If York's soldiers wish to really shine on the parade ground, they should take lessons from the barristers and solicitors' clerks at York Crown Court.
    • To get information about the Small Claims process and the dollar limitations that apply, contact the court clerk at your local courthouse.
    • Anyone can file a complaint for judicial misconduct with the clerk of the federal court of appeals for the circuit in which a given judge sits.
  • 1.2A lay officer of a cathedral, parish church, college chapel, etc.: a chapter clerk
    More example sentences
    • In Leeds boy choristers and lay clerks from the parish church and pupils from St Peter's Church of England Primary School took part.
    • This was about the clerk of that parish, whose wife used to wash the parson's surplices.
    • It has involved the resignation of the cathedral chapter clerk, bursar and organist.
  • 2 (also desk clerk) chiefly North American A receptionist in a hotel.
    More example sentences
    • The desk clerk at the hotel lied to the representative and claimed there were no picketers, but the customer service representative could hear the bullhorns over the phone.
    • We got our instructions from the hotel desk clerk, a blond beauty, whom we watched deftly handle business in Dutch, English, German and Spanish.
    • We could go to the beach today and tonight ask the hotel desk clerk to arrange a boat.
  • 2.1An assistant in a store; a salesclerk.
    More example sentences
    • The day of the show, I was in a posh glasses shop, begging the clerks to fix the specs I'd destroyed the previous night.
    • If that doesn't suit you, you could try asking the clerks at the fabric shop where you buy your cloth.
    • Ask the shop clerk (your new friend) to point out a couple of classic examples of Australian wines and tell you as much as possible about them.
  • 3 (also clerk in holy orders) formal A member of the clergy.
    More example sentences
    • He had been due to appear before a diocesan Consistory Court on 21 charges of conduct unbecoming a clerk in holy orders and one of serious, persistent or continuous neglect of duty.
    • He quit as he faced trial before an ecclesiastical court on 21 charges of conduct unbecoming a clerk in holy orders.
    • He said: ‘I think people are moving from all sorts of different trades to become clerks in holy orders now, including those who have been in the Army.’


[no object] chiefly North American Back to top  
  • Work as a clerk: eleven of those who left college this year are clerking in auction houses
    More example sentences
    • He once again failed at everything he tried and went to work for his father clerking at the tannery store - a job he despised.
    • So at 19 he took a job clerking in a housewares store, where he rose to become manager.
    • I suffered through 13 years clerking and buying for a retail gun store to gather firearm industry experience.



More example sentences
  • Why, oh why, had he not found and taken to himself that clerkish desk-job far in the rear which he could have had?
  • The guards are very big, being at least nine feet tall, making the eight-foot Callais look clerkish.
  • They improved the lives of millions of people who looked at my friend and saw no more than a clerkish fellow in a bow tie.


Old English cleric, clerc (in the sense 'ordained minister, literate person'), from ecclesiastical Latin clericus 'clergyman' (see cleric); reinforced by Old French clerc, from the same source. sense 1 of the noun dates from the early 16th century.

More definitions of clerk

Definition of clerk in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrəˈgāSHən
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space