From Middle English clerc, from Old English clerc, from Late Latin clēricus (“a priest, clergyman, cleric", also generally "a learned man, clerk”), from Ancient Greek κληρικός (klērikós, “(adj. in church jargon) of the clergy”), from κλῆρος (klêros, “lot, inheritance,” originally “a shard used in casting lots”). Doublet of cleric.
- (UK) IPA(key): /klɑːk/
- (US) enPR: klerk, IPA(key): /klɝk/
Audio (US) (file)
- (General Australian) IPA(key): /klɐːk/, /klɜːk/
- Homophone: Clark (some accents)
- Rhymes: -ɜː(r)k, -ɑː(r)k
clerk (plural clerks)
- (archaic) A cleric or clergyman.
- One who occupationally works with records, accounts, letters, etc.; an office worker.
1892, Walter Besant, “Prologue: Who is Edmund Gray?”, in The Ivory Gate: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, OCLC 16832619:
- Thus, when he drew up instructions in lawyer language, he expressed the important words by an initial, a medial, or a final consonant, and made scratches for all the words between; his clerks, however, understood him very well.
- (Quakerism) A facilitator of a Quaker meeting for business affairs.
- (archaic) In the Church of England, the layman that assists in the church service, especially in reading the responses (also called parish clerk).
- To act as a clerk, to perform the duties or functions of a clerk
- 1956, Jean Stafford, "A Reading Problem" in The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford, New York: E.P. Dutton, 1984, p. 332,
- In the winter, they lived in a town called Hoxie, Arkansas, where Evangelist Gerlash clerked in the Buttorf drugstore and preached and baptized on the side.
- The law school graduate clerked for the supreme court judge for the summer.