Dea"con (dE"k'n), n. [OE. diakne, deakne, deken, AS. diacon, deacon, L. diaconus, fr. Gr. &?; a servant or minister, a minister of the church; of uncertain origin. In sense 2 prob. confused with dean.]

1. (Eccl.)

An officer in Christian churches appointed to perform certain subordinate duties varying in different communions. In the Roman Catholic and Episcopal churches, a person admitted to the lowest order in the ministry, subordinate to the bishops and priests. In Presbyterian churches, he is subordinate to the minister and elders, and has charge of certain duties connected with the communion service and the care of the poor. In Congregational churches, he is subordinate to the pastor, and has duties as in the Presbyterian church.

2.

The chairman of an incorporated company. [Scot.]

 

© Webster 1913


Dea"con (?), v. t.

To read aloud each line of (a psalm or hymn) before singing it, -- usually with off. [Colloq. New. Eng.] See Line, v. t.

⇒ The expression is derived from a former custom in the Congregational churches of New England. It was part of the office of a deacon to read aloud the psalm given out, one line at a time, the congregation singing each line as soon as read; -- called, also, lining out the psalm.

 

© Webster 1913


Dea"con (?), v. t.

With humorous reference to hypocritical posing: To pack (fruit or vegetables) with the finest specimens on top; to alter slyly the boundaries of (land); to adulterate or doctor (an article to be sold), etc. [Colloq., U. S.]

 

© Webster 1913

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