dean


dean
[14] Etymologically, a dean is someone in charge of a group of ten people. That was the meaning of its ancestor, Greek dekānós, a word formed from déka ‘ten’. This eventually came to designate specifically someone in charge of ten monks, and this sense passed via late Latin decānus, Old French deien, and Anglo-Norman deen into English as the ‘head of a cathedral’. The modern French descendant of deien, doyen, was reborrowed into English in the 17th century. => DOYEN
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   The head of a cathedral chapter or college has a title that goes back to Late Latin decanus, itself the title for a person in charge of ten others, from Latin decem, 'ten.' In an ecclesiastical sense this would have been a person in charge of ten monks in a monastery.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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