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: the clerk inserted the bank’s master key in the lower lock
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;
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.


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 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.

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