Definition of deputy in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈdɛpjʊti/

noun (plural deputies)

1A person who is appointed to undertake the duties of a superior in the superior’s absence: his deputy has been largely running the business for the past year [as modifier]: the deputy prime minister
More example sentences
  • Tomorrow I hand over the Principal Clerk's duties to my deputy.
  • The National Railway Museum has appointed a new deputy head with a strong background in serving York's heritage.
  • In May 1998, he was appointed deputy assistant commissioner with the Metropolitan Police.
second in command, second, number two, subordinate, junior, auxiliary, adjutant, lieutenant, subaltern, assistant, personal assistant, PA, aide, helper, right-hand man, henchman, underling;
substitute, stand-in, fill-in, relief, understudy, supply;
representative, surrogate, proxy, delegate, agent, spokesperson, ambassador, legate;
Scottish  depute;
Latin locum tenens
informal vice, man/girl Friday, sidekick, locum, temp
substitute, stand-in, acting, reserve, fill-in, caretaker, temporary, short-term, provisional, stopgap, surrogate, proxy, representative;
Latin pro tempore, ad interim
informal second-string
North American informal pinch-hitting
rare expediential
1.1A parliamentary representative in certain countries: the communists had numbered 324 out of the 450 deputies
More example sentences
  • Certain professions entailing privacy issues - such as priests, lawyers and parliamentary deputies - were excluded from the provisions of the law.
  • A total of 349 million people were eligible to vote for the 732 deputies of the European Parliament.
  • As the protest continued three parliamentary deputies attempted to discuss the teachers' concerns.
1.2British A coal mine official responsible for safety.
Example sentences
  • The general secretary of the pit deputies union said it was ironic British mineworkers were wanted in Australia.
  • The dockers went on strike in July and pit deputies in the union threatened to strike in October.
  • He was a pit deputy at Redbrook colliery on the outskirts of Barnsley, in a different union.


by deputy

historical Instructing another person to act in one’s stead; by proxy: the wardens of the forests performed important duties by deputy
More example sentences
  • These clerks were appointed by patent for life, and were allowed to perform their duties by deputy.
  • The Registrar shall discharge such duties in respect of examinations as may be delegated to him by the Senate and he may perform these duties by deputy.
  • Colonial offices were often granted to men who had obligations and duties in England, who had no intention of leaving England, and who performed their colonial duties by deputy.



Example sentences
  • Formal request for resignation from a deputyship is dependent on the approval of the Parliamentary General Assembly.
  • The deputyship presented an objection on the release sentence, the court accepted it and issued its sentence to call off the release.
  • Moreover, our clients are persons who were occupied or are still occupied with politics and hold public deputyships.


Late Middle English: from Old French depute, from late Latin deputatus, past participle of deputare (see depute).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dep¦uty

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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