American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An administrative officer in charge of a college, faculty, or division in a university.
- n. An officer of a college or high school who counsels students and supervises the enforcement of rules.
- n. Ecclesiastical The head of the chapter of canons governing a cathedral or collegiate church.
- n. Roman Catholic Church A priest appointed to oversee a group of parishes within a diocese.
- n. The senior member of a body or group: the dean of the Washington diplomatic corps.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A small valley.
- n. An ecclesiastical title in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, which has had several applications. Civil officials so called were known to the Roman law, and are mentioned in the codes of Theodosius and Justinian. The title was thence adopted for Christian use. In the monasteries, for every ten monks a decanus or dean was nominated, who had the charge of their discipline. The senior dean, in the absence of the abbot and provost, governed the monastery; and, since monks had the charge of many cathedral churches, the office of dean was thus introduced into them. Custom gradually determined that there should be only one dean in a cathedral, and he eventually assumed the chief charge of its ecclesiastical and ritual concerns, especially in regard to the choir. He became also general assistant to the bishop. In the Roman Catholic Church, assistants of the bishop, termed rural deans, in France in former times often possessed, and in Germany in certain cases still possess, large powers of visitation, administration, and jurisdiction, so that their authority is almost equal to that of bishops. In the Church of England there are, besides the deans of the cathedrals, called
deans of chapters, whose authority is next that of the bishop, rural deans, who are in effect assistants to the bishop, and whose duty it is to visit certain parishes in the diocese, and report on their condition to the bishop. Their functions at one time became almost obsolete, but they have been revived to some extent in recent times. The word is also applied in England to the chief officers of certain peculiar churches or chapels: as, the dean of the king's chapel. In the Episcopal Church in America the presiding presbyter of the semi-official body known as a convocation, and of the division of a diocese represented by this body, which division is also called a convocation and is in some respects analogous to the English rural deanery, is called a dean (the dean of convocation).
- n. In universities, originally, the head of a faculty (and most historical writers consider a dean as essential to the existence of a faculty). The office was at first directly or indirectly elective for one or two years, while commonly filled by the eldest master regent. But the faculties, having in Great Britain and America lost their early more independent corporate existence, are now usually presided over by the head of the university, and the office of dean has sunk to that of a mere registrar or secretary, or has ceased to exist. In English colleges the dean presides in chapel, looks after the moral and religious welfare of the scholars, and is charged with the preservation of discipline. The office is commonly united with one of the tutorships. The office of dean of a college or school is evidently a mere adaptation of that of dean of a monastery, and as such dates from far earlier times than that of dean of a faculty, although the faculties long preceded the colleges.
- n. The oldest member in length of service of a constituted body, or a body of persons of equal rank, of whom he is the prescriptive leader in all joint action: as, the dean of the diplomatic corps; the dean of the French Academy; the dean of the Sacred College (the oldest of the cardinals, who possesses high authority by right of his seniority).
- n. The president for the time being of an incorporation of barristers or law practitioners.
- n. In Scotland, the elected head of the merchant company or gildry of a royal burgh, who is a magistrate of the burgh for the supervision of all matters relating to the erection and character of buildings. The office in the full sense now exists only in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Perth, its duties in other burghs being performed by an officer bearing the same title, elected by the town council.
- n. A senior official in a college or university, who may be in charge of a division or faculty (for example, the dean of science) or have some other advisory or disciplinary function (for example, the dean of students).
- n. A dignitary or presiding officer in certain church bodies, especially an ecclesiastical dignitary, subordinate to a bishop, in charge of a chapter of canon.
- n. The senior member of some group of people.
- n. Sussex a hill (chiefly place names).
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A dignitary or presiding officer in certain ecclesiastical and lay bodies; esp., an ecclesiastical dignitary, subordinate to a bishop.
- n. The collegiate officer in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, England, who, besides other duties, has regard to the moral condition of the college.
- n. The head or presiding officer in the faculty of some colleges or universities.
- n. U.S. A registrar or secretary of the faculty in a department of a college, as in a medical, or theological, or scientific department.
- n. The chief or senior of a company on occasion of ceremony; ; -- so called by courtesy.
- n. United States film actor whose moody rebellious roles made him a cult figure (1931-1955)
- n. an administrator in charge of a division of a university or college
- n. a man who is the senior member of a group
- n. (Roman Catholic Church) the head of the College of Cardinals
- From Anglo-Norman deen < Old French deien < Latin decānus. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English deen, from Old French deien, from Late Latin decānus, chief of ten, from decem, ten, or from Greek dekānos, chief of ten (from deka, ten). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“CHARLES II. playing at tennis with a dean, who struck the ball well, the king said, "That's a good stroke for a _dean_.”
“C. Maoxian: @dean: Thanks for contributing the boilermaker numbers. dean: A construction boilermaker makes $100,000 a yr and a boilermaker general forman is making around $140K / yr ....”
“For 11-year-old Malak Abu Stani (ph) -- Native Dean, dean is Arabic for religion and way of life -- put fun back into faith.”
“In 1973, after nearly 10 years in Afghanistan, Gouttierre was invited by the University of Nebraska to lead the newly launched Afghanistan program, with the title dean of international studies.”
“Nothing in the email in actually controversial, except to ignorant or hypocritical lawyers and other laypeople; the dean is a pretentious fool.”
“Mr. Broder was often called the dean of the Washington press corps - a nickname he earned in his late 30s in part for the clarity of his political analysis and the influence he wielded as a perceptive thinker on political trends in his books, articles and television appearances.”
“Unfortunately, naming White as dean is not such a step.”
“While each arm-chair dean is entitled to his or her own opinion on the matter, I'd say sardonic observations and a surface knowledge of such matters does not an expert make.”
“Mr. Broder was often called the dean of the Washington press corps -- a nickname he earned in his late 30s in part for the clarity of his political analysis and the influence he wielded as a perceptive thinker on political trends in his books, articles and television appearances.”
“Mr. Broder was often called the dean of the Washington press corps — a nickname he earned in his late 30s in part for the clarity of his political analysis and the influence he wielded as a perceptive thinker on political trends in his books, articles and television appearances.”
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Looking for tweets for dean.