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superintendent

[soo-per-in-ten-duh nt, soo-prin-] /ˌsu pər ɪnˈtɛn dənt, ˌsu prɪn-/
noun
1.
a person who oversees or directs some work, enterprise, establishment, organization, district, etc.; supervisor.
2.
a person who is in charge of maintenance and repairs of an apartment house; custodian.
3.
a high-ranking police officer, especially a chief of police or an officer ranking next above an inspector.
adjective
Origin
1545-1555
1545-55; < Medieval Latin superintendent- (stem of superintendēns), present participle of superintendere to superintend; see -ent
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for superintendents

superintendent

/ˌsuːpərɪnˈtɛndənt; ˌsuːprɪn-/
noun
1.
a person who directs and manages an organization, office, etc
2.
(in Britain) a senior police officer higher in rank than an inspector but lower than a chief superintendent
3.
(in the US) the head of a police department
4.
(mainly US & Canadian) a caretaker, esp of a block of apartments
adjective
5.
of or relating to supervision; superintending
Word Origin
C16: from Church Latin superintendens overseeing
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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Word Origin and History for superintendents

superintendent

n.

1550s, originally an ecclesiastical word meaning "bishop" or "minister who supervises churches within a district" (a loan-translation of Greek episkopos "overseer"), from Medieval Latin superintendentem (nominative superintendens), from present participle of Late Latin superintendere "oversee," from Latin super "above" (see super-) + intendere "turn one's attention, direct" (see intend). Famously used by 16c. radical Protestants in place of bishop, which was to them tainted by Papacy.

[Martinists] studie to pull downe Bishopps, and set vp Superintendents, which is nothing else, but to raze out good Greeke, & enterline bad Latine. [Lyly, "Pappe with an Hatchet," 1589]
The general sense of "a person who has charge of some business" is first recorded 1580s. Meaning "janitor, custodian" is from c.1935. Shortened form super first attested 1857, especially at first of overseers of sheep ranches in Australia.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for superintendents

superintendent

Related Terms

sidewalk superintendent


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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