Definitions

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

Etymologies

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)

Examples

  • This remarkable transformation, no doubt in some degree inevitable, was actually brought about chiefly through the instrumentality of a single man, a certain English archdeacon of Welsh descent, Geoffrey of Monmouth.

    A History of English Literature

  • Then he called his archdeacon and demanded him if he heard anything, and he said: Nay.

    The Golden Legend, vol. 6

  • A poor gentleman, a certain archdeacon, arrived here a few days ago, to fill the English chaplaincy at this place for five weeks, and I really am concerned for the worthy gentleman, who yesterday read the prayers admirably, and preached an excellent sermon to his wife and two children, myself and my two servants – a large congregation, which will be half as large next Sunday, when I shall not be here.

    Further Records, 1848-1883: A Series of Letters

  • There was one whom they called archdeacon, and another whom they called bishop, and the Pope was asked to allow them to wear mitres like canons, for this chapel was the chapel, and this castle one of the castles of Gilles de Laval, lord of Rouci, of Montmorency, of

    Over Strand and Field

  • Mrs Proudie in truth believed that the archdeacon was an actual emanation from Satan, sent to those parts to devour souls — as she would call it — and that she herself was an emanation of another sort, sent from another source expressly to Barchester, to prevent such devouring, as far as it might possibly be prevented by a mortal agency.

    A dollop from Trollope | clusterflock

  • The bishop rose to greet him with special civility, smiling his very sweetest smile on him, as though of all his clergy the archdeacon were the favourite; but Mrs Proudie wore something of a gloomy aspect, as though she knew that such a visit at such an hour must have reference to some special business.

    Framley Parsonage

  • Churchwoman, and the archdeacon was the very type of that branch of the Church which she venerated.

    Framley Parsonage

  • The archdeacon was a sound friend; but he was also a sound enemy.

    The Last Chronicle of Barset

  • As they were leaving the room Mr Harding called the archdeacon back, and taking him by the hand, spoke one word to him in a whisper.

    The Last Chronicle of Barset

  • Ullathorne, and, with the exception of a single chaplain, who pretended to carve, Dr Tempest and the archdeacon were the only clerical guests at the table.

    The Last Chronicle of Barset

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