Definition of docent in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdōsənt/


1A person who acts as a guide, typically on a voluntary basis, in a museum, art gallery, or zoo.
Example sentences
  • Museum docents, who will be musicians, will guide school groups through the museum, bringing history alive through performances, storytelling and interactive exhibits.
  • Today we were the lucky recipients of a private tour, a gift from our friend G. who volunteers at the museum as a docent.
  • Tour guides/docents will help us explore the emotional, aesthetic and spiritual impact of art in the largest urban sculpture garden in the U.S.
2(In certain universities and colleges) a member of the teaching staff immediately below professorial rank.
Example sentences
  • After leaving Italy in 1922, Cech wrote his habilitation thesis, becoming a docent at the Charles University of Prague.
  • In 1920 he returned to St Petersburg to two posts, one as professor at the Polytechnic Institute, and the other as docent at the university.
  • Mellin was appointed as a docent at the University of Stockholm from 1884-91 but never actually gave any lectures.


Late 19th century: via German from Latin docent- 'teaching', from docere 'teach'.

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