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

  • n. A man who is the eldest or senior member of a group.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A commander in charge of ten men.
  • n. The senior, or eldest male member of a group.
  • n. A leading light, or exemplar of a particular practice or movement.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Lit., a dean; the senior member of a body or group.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A dean.

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

  • n. a man who is the senior member of a group


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

Probably French, from Old French doien, from Late Latin decānus, chief of ten; see dean.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French doyen, from Latin decānus from Greek δεκανός. Compare dean.


  • The rules say the oldest MEP - or "doyen" - chairs the session until a new parliament president is elected.

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  • Medical readers will know that the Lancet - the other "doyen" of medical journalism in the UK, is no less rabid in its abuse of Israel.

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  • I also enjoyed your piece at 'Dark Trees about the "doyen".

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  • I believe the term for these cunning folks is "doyen," and they're just about everywhere I go in the Guggenheim, doing, well, what one expects: explaining what the art means.

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  • In the one, dated 1423, he is styled 'doyen' (senior inhabitant) of the village, which gave him rank next to the Mayor.

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  • He said Mr Spence was seen as a "doyen" and that his words would carry "weight and impact".

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  • They paid tribute to the zoo's "doyen", whose distinctive personality and "demonstrative lovemaking" had made him a favourite with the French public.

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  • You think you hold the title of "doyen" that "scoops are not given exclusively to you.

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  • Oddly enough, "doyen" (as in, 'The doyen' of the Washington press corps. ") is pure Biblical

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  • Boing Boing reader Genise Schnitman says, "Parke Meek, the self-taught steampunk technical wizard who worked in the Eames office and was the curmudgeonly doyen of Jadis, the retrofuturist wunderkammer on Main Street in Santa Monica, passed away at 86."

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  • "(the semi-paralysed doyen of the party who had to be assisted to his seat by the aid of a powerful steam crane)"

    Joyce, Ulysses, 12

    January 13, 2007

  • also see doyenne

    January 4, 2007