Definition of clerk in English:

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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.
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.
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.
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
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.



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.

Words that rhyme with clerk

arc, ark, Bach, bark, barque, Braque, Clark, dark, embark, hark, impark, Iraq, Ladakh, Lamarck, lark, macaque, marc, mark, marque, narc, nark, Newark, park, quark, sark, shark, snark, spark, stark, Vlach

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: clerk

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