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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).


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clerk ‎(plural clerks)

  1. One who occupationally works with records, accounts, letters, etc.; an office worker.
    • 1893, Walter Besant, The Ivory Gate, Prologue:
      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.
  2. A facilitator of a Quaker meeting for business affairs.
  3. (archaic) In the Church of England, the layman that assists in the church service, especially in reading the responses (also called parish clerk).

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clerk ‎(third-person singular simple present clerks, present participle clerking, simple past and past participle clerked)

  1. To act as a clerk, to perform the duties or functions of a clerk
    The law school graduate clerked for the supreme court judge for the summer.

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