ARCHDE'ACON, n. [See Deacon.] In England, an ecclesiastical dignitary, next in rank below a bishop, who has jurisdiction either over a part or over the whole diocese. He is usually appointed by the bishop, and has an authority originally derived from the bishop, but now independent of him. He has a court, the most inferior of ecclesiastical courts, for hearing ecclesiastical causes, and the punishment of offenders by spiritual censures.
nounEtymology: Middle English archedeken, from Old English arcediacon, from Late Latin archidiaconus, from Late Greek archidiakonos, from Greek archi- + diakonos deacon Date: before 12th century a clergyman having the duty of assisting a diocesan bishop in ceremonial functions or administrative work
n. 1 an Anglican cleric ranking below a bishop. 2 a member of the clergy of similar rank in other Churches. Derivatives: archdeaconry n. (pl. -ies). archdeaconship n. Etymology: OE arce-, ercediacon, f. eccl.L archidiaconus f. eccl.Gk arkhidiakonos (as ARCH-, DEACON)
Archdeacon Arch`dea"con, n. [AS. arcediacon, archidiacon, L. archidiaconus, fr. Gr. ?. See Arch-, pref., and Deacon.] In England, an ecclesiastical dignitary, next in rank below a bishop, whom he assists, and by whom he is appointed, though with independent authority. --Blackstone.