from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A church official, as in the Anglican Church, who is in charge of temporal and other affairs in a diocese, with powers delegated from the bishop.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. In the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox systems, a senior administrative official in a diocese, just under the bishop, often in charge of an archdeaconry. As a title, it can be filled by either a deacon or priest.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. In England, an ecclesiastical dignitary, next in rank below a bishop, whom he assists, and by whom he is appointed, though with independent authority.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A chief deacon; strictly, an ecclesiastic who has charge of the temporal and external administration of a diocese, with jurisdiction delegated from the bishop.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (Anglican Church) an ecclesiastical dignitary usually ranking just below a bishop
Middle English archedeken, from Old English arcediakon, from Late Latin archidiāconus, from Late Greek arkhidiākonos : Greek arkhi-, archi- + Greek diākonos, deacon.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
arch- + deacon (Wiktionary)