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deaconess

[dee-kuh-nis] /ˈdi kə nɪs/
noun
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.
Origin of deaconess
1530-1540
1530-40; earlier deaconisse, part translation, part adoption of Late Latin diāconissa, feminine of diāconus deacon; see -ess
Usage note
See -ess.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for deaconess
Historical Examples
  • Why a deaconess Board, even though deaconess work happened to be merciful and gentle and Christlike?

    John Wesley, Jr. Dan B. Brummitt
  • The first deaconess was Gertrude Reichardt, the daughter of a physician.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
  • The hypocrite's voice was full of unction; the deaconess spoke with pious gravity.

  • Many sorrows which he overlooks the deaconess can discern and assuage.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
  • The parish deaconess has occasion to use every gift which she can possibly acquire in the varied training of the deaconess school.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
  • Vexing questions have arisen as to how the deaconess should be set apart to her work.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
  • Adjoining the hall, at the west end, was built the deaconess house.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
  • On Sunday, December 9, 1888, the first deaconess was set apart to her duties.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
  • The deaconess home has also branches of work in different parts of France.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
  • The field of work of the deaconess in modern times is a large one.

    Deaconesses in Europe Jane M. Bancroft
British Dictionary definitions for deaconess

deaconess

/ˈdiːkənɪs/
noun
1.
(Christianity) (in the early church and in some modern Churches) a female member of the laity with duties similar to those of a deacon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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deaconess in the Bible

Rom. 16:1, 3, 12; Phil. 4:2, 3; 1 Tim. 3:11; 5:9, 10; Titus 2:3, 4). In these passages it is evident that females were then engaged in various Christian ministrations. Pliny makes mention of them also in his letter to Trajan (A.D. 110).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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12
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