American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


CLERK, noun

1. A clergyman, or ecclesiastic; a man in holy orders.

2. A man that can read.

Everyone that could read--being accounted a clerk

3. A man of letters; a scholar.

The foregoing significations are found in the English laws, and histories of the church; as in the rude ages of the church, learning was chiefly confined to the clergy. In modern usage.

4. A writer; one who is employed in the use of the pen, in an office public or private, for keeping records, and accounts; as the clerk of a court. In some cases clerk is synonymous with secretary; but not always. A clerk is always an officer subordinate to a higher officer, board, corporation or person; whereas, a secretary may be either a subordinate officer, or the head of an office or department.

5. A layman who is the reader of responses in church service.