/dee"keuh nis/, n.
1. (in certain Protestant churches) a woman belonging to an order or sisterhood dedicated to the care of the sick or poor or who is engaging in other social-service duties, as teaching or missionary work.
2. a woman elected by a church to assist the clergy.
[1530-40; earlier deaconisse, part trans., part adoption of LL diaconissa, fem. of diaconus DEACON; see -ESS]
Usage. See -ess.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Deaconess — Dea con*ess, n. (Eccl.) A female deacon; as: (a) (Primitive Ch.) One of an order of women whose duties resembled those of deacons. (b) (Ch. of Eng. and Prot. Epis. Ch.) A woman set apart for church work by a bishop. (c) A woman chosen as a helper …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • deaconess — ► NOUN ▪ a woman with duties similar to those of a deacon …   English terms dictionary

  • deaconess — [dē′kən is] n. [ME dekenesse < LL(Ec) diaconissa, fem. of diaconus: see DEACON & ESS] in some Protestant denominations, a woman consecrated or commissioned to serve in a church related agency or hospital …   English World dictionary

  • Deaconess — For the honorific accorded a deacon s wife, see Diakonissa. Elizabeth Catherine Ferard, first deaconess of the Church of England …   Wikipedia

  • deaconess —    Deaconesses are women who perform the functions of a deacon in many Protestant churches. The modern Protestant deaconess movement began as a small ministry within the Moravian Church in 1745. That movement inspired a German Lutheran pastor,… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • Deaconess —    In the Apostles time there were holy women set apart for the work of the Church, for example Phoebe, the servant or deaconess, who was commended by St. Paul. This order of Deaconesses continued until about the seventh century, when the changed …   American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • deaconess — UK [ˌdiːkəˈnes] / US [ˈdɪkənəs] noun [countable] Word forms deaconess : singular deaconess plural deaconesses a woman with a position just below that of a priest in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, or Orthodox churches …   English dictionary

  • Deaconess — A maid that had devoted her life to serve God, and to prayers as well. St. Paul mentioned Phoebe as a deaconess (Rom. 16:1). She is officially in charg of certain duties in the church. She helps the priest in serving women, particularly the sick… …   Dictionary of church terms

  • deaconess — noun Date: 15th century a woman chosen to assist in the church ministry; specifically one in a Protestant order …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • deaconess — noun a) A female deacon. b) A female servant in the early Christian church …   Wiktionary

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