clerk

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

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).

Pronunciation[edit]

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Noun[edit]

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. (Quakerism) 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).

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

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
    • 1934, George Orwell, Burmese Days, Chapter 1, [1]
      [] for three years he had worked in the stinking labyrinth of the Mandalay bazaars, clerking for the rice merchants and sometimes stealing.
    • 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.

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