from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A person who works in an office performing such tasks as keeping records, attending to correspondence, or filing.
  • noun A person who keeps the records and performs the regular business of a court, legislative body, or municipal district.
  • noun Law A law clerk, as for a judge.
  • noun A person who works at a sales counter or service desk, as at a store or hotel.
  • noun A cleric.
  • noun Archaic A scholar.
  • intransitive verb To work or serve as a clerk.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To write; compose.
  • To serve as a clerk; act as accountant or salesman: frequently used in the phrase to clerk it.
  • noun A clergyman; a priest; an ecclesiastic; a man in holy orders.
  • noun A learned man; a man of letters; a scholar; a writer or author; originally, a man who could read, an attainment at one time confined chiefly to ecclesiastics.
  • noun The layman who leads in reading the responses in the service of the Church of England. Also called parish clerk.
  • noun An officer of a court, legislature, municipal corporation, or other body, whose duty generally is to keep the records of the body to which he is attached, and perform the routine business: as, clerk of court; town clerk; clerk to a school-board, etc. See secretary.
  • noun One who is employed in an office, public or private, or in a shop or warehouse, to keep records or accounts; one who is employed by another as a writer or amanuensis.
  • noun In the United States, an assistant in business, whether or not a keeper of accounts; especially, a retail salesman.
  • noun In the United States, a popular name for the head of the meteorological department of the Signal Service.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete A clergyman or ecclesiastic.
  • noun obsolete A man who could read; a scholar; a learned person; a man of letters.
  • noun engraving A parish officer, being a layman who leads in reading the responses of the Episcopal church service, and otherwise assists in it.
  • noun One employed to keep records or accounts; a scribe; an accountant.
  • noun United States An assistant in a shop or store.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun One who occupationally works with records, accounts, letters, etc.; an office worker.
  • noun A facilitator of a Quaker meeting for business affairs
  • noun archaic In the Church of England, the layman that assists in the church service, especially in reading the responses (also called parish clerk).
  • verb To act as a clerk, to perform the duties or functions of a clerk

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an employee who performs clerical work (e.g., keeps records or accounts)
  • noun a salesperson in a store
  • verb work as a clerk, as in the legal business


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, clergyman, secretary, from Old English clerc and Old French clerc, clergyman, both from Late Latin clēricus, from Greek klērikos, belonging to the clergy, from klēros, inheritance, lot.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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 (klērikos, "(adj. in church jargon) of the clergy"), from κλῆρος (klēros, "lot, inheritance, originally "a shard used in casting lots".")


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  • v.i. work as a clerk – I've never come across this verbal use before. (OED marks it as colloquial now, but has examples back to 1551.)

    I can remember all the tenants of the front room upstairs, who came and went: Vernie, who clerked in a store; the fabulous Doc Marlowe, who made and sold Sioux Liniment and wore a ten-gallon hat with kitchen matches stuck in the band; the blonde and mysterious Mrs Lane, of the strong perfume and the elegant dresses; Mr Richardson, a guard at the penitentiary, who kept a gun in his room; and a silent, thin, smiling man who never revealed his business and left with his rent two weeks in arrears.

    —James Thurber, 1952, 'Daguerreotype of a Lady', in The Thurber Album

    July 10, 2008

  • I am a clerk

    May 17, 2009