from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A minor parish official formerly employed in an English church to usher and keep order during services.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a parish constable, a uniformed minor (lay) official, who ushers and keeps order
- n. an attendant to the minister
- n. a warrant officer
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A messenger or crier of a court; a servitor; one who cites or bids persons to appear and answer; -- called also an apparitor or summoner.
- n. An officer in a university, who precedes public processions of officers and students.
- n. An inferior parish officer in England having a variety of duties, as the preservation of order in church service, the chastisement of petty offenders, etc.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One who makes proclamation; a herald.
- n. A crier or messenger of a court; a servitor; one who cites persons to appear and answer.
- n. In universities, a subaltern official or servant, properly and usually termed a bedel (which see).
- n. In England, a parish officer having various subordinate duties, such as keeping order in church, punishing petty offenders, waiting on the clergyman, attending meetings of vestry or session, etc.
- n. The apparitor of a trades guild or company. Also spelled bedell and bedel, in senses 2 and 3.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a minor parish official who serves a ceremonial function
- n. United States biologist who discovered how hereditary characteristics are transmitted by genes (1903-1989)
Other brewers 'draymen became obstreperous too, one calling the beadle that stopped him "a rogue" and another vowing that if he knew the beadle "he would have a touch with him at quarterstaff."
In this piece of cloth is carried a box containing a stuff to chew called beadle nut.
The beadle is a very grand personage, and his appearance sufficiently indicates this fact.
I once ventured to tell him that even a beadle was a sacred being in his eyes, and he did not deny the soft impeachment.
The beadle was the next person who came into my head.
The beadle is the only sober man in the composition except the pawnbroker, and he is mightily indifferent to the orphan-child crying beside its parent's coffin.
They were at first five in number, but afterwards increased to ten; they had no external mark of dignity, except a kind of beadle, called
The "beadle" group of names has been confused with
This is done to create an awe and respect towards him in the eye of the vulgar; but lest it should elevate him too much in his own opinion, in order to his humiliation he receives every evening in private, from a kind of beadle, a gentle kick on his posteriors; besides which he wears a ring in his nose, somewhat resembling that we ring our pigs with, and a chain round his neck not unlike that worn by our aldermen; both which I suppose to be emblematical, but heard not the reasons of either assigned.
Oops - Forgot that I spoke to jeremy beadle on the old "Talk Radio" back in 1994!