There are 2 main definitions of dean in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

dean1

Syllabification: dean
Pronunciation: /dēn
 
/

noun

1The head of a college or university faculty or department: the dean of the law school
More 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, college head, provost, university official;
1.1A college or university official, especially one with disciplinary and advisory functions: the dean of students
More 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.
1.2The leader or senior member of a group: the dean of California winemakers
More example sentences
  • He is a soldier's soldier, dean of diplomats, potential politician, and soon to be private citizen.
  • ‘We're not out of the woods,’ says David Brower, 87, dean of America's modern environmental movement.
  • Red Smith, a graduate of Notre Dame, is considered by many to be the dean of baseball writers.
Synonyms
doyen/doyenne, elder statesman, grande dame, grand old man, veteran
2The 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  • Now the dean and chapter of the cathedral has withdrawn its backing, after strong objections by residents.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.

Origin

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

Share this entry

Share this page

 

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

There are 2 main definitions of dean in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

dean2

Syllabification: dean
Pronunciation: /dēn
 
/

noun

Variant spelling of dene1.

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.