Skip to main content
Select Source:

dean

dean. The title is most commonly associated with the priest who presides over the life and work of a cathedral. Originally it evolved from the Latin ‘decem’ (ten) as descriptive of one who had authority over, or the supervision of, a group of ten others. Where a cathedral or collegiate church (e.g. Westminster abbey or St George's, Windsor) had a chapter of canons or prebendaries, the dean was primus inter pares, and rarely had (or has) authority to act apart from the capitular body over which he presided. The statutes governing most English cathedrals give the dean and chapter together a considerable degree of independence from episcopal control. The title ‘dean’ is also held—as ‘rural dean’—by a beneficed clergyman in a part-time capacity. The rural dean is appointed by the bishop to act as a channel of communication between himself and the clergy of the parishes which make up his deanery. The office is an ancient one, revived in the 18th and 19th cents. by pastorally minded bishops. In universities, deans are normally chairmen of faculties.

Revd Dr John R. Guy

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dean." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dean." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dean

"dean." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved June 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dean

dean

dean / dēn/ • n. 1. the head of a college or university faculty or department. ∎  a college or university official, esp. one with disciplinary and advisory functions. ∎  the leader or senior member of a group. 2. the head of the chapter of a cathedral or collegiate church. dean2 • n. variant spelling of dene1 .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dean." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dean." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dean-1

"dean." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved June 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dean-1

dean

dean Administrative official. In education, a head of administration in a university faculty or medical school. Such an official is also a teacher or lecturer and is responsible for maintaining discipline. In the Anglican Church, the leader of the chapter in a cathedral or collegiate church is a dean. In the Roman Catholic Church, the head of the College of Cardinals is a dean.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dean." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dean." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dean

"dean." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved June 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dean

dean

dean 2 head of cathedral or collegiate chapter XIV; supervisor of conduct and studies in a college; president of a university faculty XVI. ME. deen, den(e) — AN. de(e)n, OF. d(e)ien (mod. doyen) :- late L. decānus — Gr. dekānós one set over ten, f. déka TEN.
Hence deanery XV.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dean." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dean." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dean-3

"dean." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved June 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dean-3

Dean

Dean. The title of various Christian officials, of which the most important are: (i) the head of the chapter of a cathedral; and (ii) the head of the chapter of a collegiate church which is a ‘peculiar’ (independent of any episcopal authority), e.g. Westminster Abbey.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Dean." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Dean." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dean

"Dean." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved June 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dean

dean

dean the head of the chapter of a cathedral or collegiate church. Recorded from Middle English, the word comes via Old French from late Latin decanus ‘chief of a group of ten’, from decem ‘ten’.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dean." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dean." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dean

"dean." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved June 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dean

dean

dean 1, dene valley. OE. denu, rel. to DEN.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dean." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dean." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dean-2

"dean." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved June 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dean-2

dean

deanAberdeen, Amin, aquamarine, baleen, bean, been, beguine, Benin, between, canteen, careen, Claudine, clean, contravene, convene, cuisine, dean, Dene, e'en, eighteen, fascine, fedayeen, fifteen, figurine, foreseen, fourteen, Francine, gean, gene, glean, gombeen, green, Greene, Halloween, intervene, Janine, Jean, Jeannine, Jolene, Kean, keen, Keene, Ladin, langoustine, latrine, lean, limousine, machine, Maclean, magazine, Malines, margarine, marine, Mascarene, Massine, Maxine, mean, Medellín, mesne, mien, Moline, moreen, mujahedin, Nadine, nankeen, Nazarene, Nene, nineteen, nougatine, obscene, palanquin, peen, poteen, preen, quean, queen, Rabin, Racine, ramin, ravine, routine, Sabine, saltine, sardine, sarin, sateen, scene, screen, seen, serene, seventeen, shagreen, shebeen, sheen, sixteen, spleen, spring-clean, squireen, Steen, submarine, supervene, tambourine, tangerine, teen, terrine, thirteen, transmarine, treen, tureen, Tyrrhene, ultramarine, umpteen, velveteen, wean, ween, Wheen, yean •soybean • buckbean

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dean." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dean." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dean-0

"dean." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved June 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dean-0