deacon

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old English diacon, from Ecclesiastical Latin diaconus, from Ancient Greek διάκονος (diákonos, servant, minister).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

deacon (plural deacons)

  1. (Church history) A designated minister of charity in the early Church (see Acts 6:1-6).
  2. (Roman Catholicism) A clergyman ranked directly below a priest, with duties of helping the priests and carrying out parish work.
  3. (Protestantism) Free Churches: A lay leader of a congregation who assists the pastor.
  4. (Protestantism) Anglicanism: An ordained clergyman usually serving a year prior to being ordained presbyter, though in some cases they remain a permanent deacon.
  5. (Protestantism) Methodism: A separate office from that of minister, neither leading to the other; instead there is a permanent deaconate.
  6. (freemasonry) A junior lodge officer.
  7. (Mormonism) The lowest office in the Aaronic priesthood, generally held by 12 or 13 year old boys or recent converts.
  8. (US, animal husbandry) A male calf of a dairy breed, so called because they are usually deaconed (see below).
  9. (Scotland) The chairman of an incorporated company.

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Verb[edit]

deacon (third-person singular simple present deacons, present participle deaconing, simple past and past participle deaconed)

  1. (Christianity, music) For a choir leader to lead a hymn by speaking one or two lines at a time, which are then sung by the choir.
  2. (US, animal husbandry) To kill a calf shortly after birth.
  3. (US) To place fresh fruit at the top of a barrel or other container, with spoiled or imperfect fruit hidden beneath.
    • 1902, George Horace Lorimer, Old Gorgon Graham[1]:
      It's like buying a barrel of apples that's been deaconed — after you've found that the deeper you go the meaner and wormier the fruit, you forget all about the layer of big, rosy, wax-finished pippins that was on top.

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