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Clerk [Either OF. clerc, fr. L. clericus a priest, or AS. clerc, cleric, clerk, priest, fr. L. clericus, fr. Gr. belonging to the clergy, fr. lot, allotment, clergy; cf. Deut. xviii. 2. Cf. Clergy.]

1.

A clergyman or ecclesiastic.

[Obs.]

All persons were styled clerks that served in the church of Christ. Ayliffe.

2.

A man who could read; a scholar; a learned person; a man of letters.

[Obs.] "Every one that could read . . . being accounted a clerk."

Blackstone.

He was no great clerk, but he was perfectly well versed in the interests of Europe. Burke.

3.

A parish officer, being a layman who leads in reading the responses of the Episcopal church service, and otherwise assists in it.

[Eng.]

Hook.

And like unlettered clerk still cry "Amen". Shak.

4.

One employed to keep records or accounts; a scribe; an accountant; as, the clerk of a court; a town clerk.

The clerk of the crown . . . withdrew the bill. Strype.

⇒ In some cases, clerk is synonymous with secretary. A clerk is always an officer subordinate to a higher officer, board, corporation, or person; whereas a secretary may be either a subordinate or the head of an office or department.

5.

An assistant in a shop or store.

[U. S.]

 

© Webster 1913.