Definition of deacon in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdēkən/


1(In Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox churches) an ordained minister of an order ranking below that of priest.
Example sentences
  • In 1984 he was ordained a Catholic deacon and is currently a member of the pastoral staff at St. Colman Parish.
  • In certain respects, lay ministers and ordained deacons have an advantage over priests in counseling prisoners.
  • I remember many years ago attending the service when a friend was ordained as a deacon in her Episcopal church.
1.1(In some Protestant churches) a lay officer appointed to assist a minister, especially in secular affairs.
Example sentences
  • The Korean church now has six elders who head departments and 132 deacons who assist them, but the clergy maintain significant authority.
  • The church ministry is now divided according to different age groups and administered by the pastor and six deacons elected by the congregation.
  • We are seeking to meet our current spiritual needs more effectively by appointing elders and deacons (men of pastoral care and mercy, according to the New Testament pattern) from within the congregations.
1.2 historical (In the early church) an appointed minister of charity.
Example sentences
  • An argument in the faith community over the care of widows raised such concern that the office of deacon was created to resolve it.
  • New Testament deacons serve the Lord by conducting the caring ministry of the church.
  • The deacon found and served Christ in the poor, the hungry and thirsty, the stranger and the naked, the sick and imprisoned.


[with object]
Appoint or ordain as a deacon.
Example sentences
  • He was deaconed in 1853 and priested in 1854 in the Diocese of Newcastle.
  • I was deaconed in 1992 in Salisbury and was the last group of women who were deaconed without knowing whether they would ever be allowed to be priests.
  • However the end of his first year brought the news that Mr Mahaffey could not be deaconed, due to his age.



Pronunciation: /-ˌSHip/
Example sentences
  • When was the last time you heard of a candidate disqualified for deaconship because he had unruly children?
  • The character of the deaconship remains lively, permeating all the aspects of your life, both in the specific exercising of the ministry as deacons and in professional, family, social life etc.
  • He received his deaconship on 7 April 1943 at the Aramana Chapel.


Old English diacon, via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek diakonos 'servant' (in ecclesiastical Greek 'Christian minister').

Words that rhyme with deacon

archdeacon, beacon, Costa Rican, Dominican, Mohican, Mozambican, Puerto Rican, weaken

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dea·con

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