Definition of deputy in English:


nounPlural deputies

  • 1A person who is appointed to undertake the duties of a superior in the superior's absence.

    ‘his deputy has been largely running the business for the past year’
    as modifier ‘the deputy prime minister’
    • ‘The deputy chairman's allowance has also been cut from £2,370 to nothing.’
    • ‘The National Railway Museum has appointed a new deputy head with a strong background in serving York's heritage.’
    • ‘The deputy superintendent urged all road users to comply with the laws in the interests of road safety.’
    • ‘Last week he was appointed interim deputy leader of the party during the leadership race.’
    • ‘He was later promoted brigadier, and made a deputy director of military intelligence.’
    • ‘He became deputy managing editor in December 1997.’
    • ‘It was, however, recently reported that he had taken the unusual step of appointing a deputy.’
    • ‘The report also recommended giving heads, deputies and assistant heads set time for management duties.’
    • ‘The Government suspended 18 policemen, including two deputy commissioners of police, and two excise department officials.’
    • ‘He also wants to bag the post of deputy chief minister for the party.’
    • ‘Apart from being deputy premier he also held the portfolios of commerce and trade, small business and regional development.’
    • ‘In May 1998, he was appointed deputy assistant commissioner with the Metropolitan Police.’
    • ‘Eleven years later he joined the board and was appointed deputy chairman in May 2000.’
    • ‘The Commissioner is assisted by a deputy commissioner and a number of directors and professional advisers.’
    • ‘The vacancies at the top, with just two deputy commissioners managing the show, has slowed down the administration.’
    • ‘Lancashire's fire service has appointed a new deputy chief fire officer.’
    • ‘He served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Antitrust Division.’
    • ‘Tomorrow I hand over the Principal Clerk's duties to my deputy.’
    • ‘Since his health was poor, moreover, he appointed a deputy to perform most of the routine presidential duties.’
    • ‘While I was a deputy mayor I laid a wreath on the war memorial.’
    second in command, second, number two, subordinate, junior, auxiliary, adjutant, lieutenant, subaltern, assistant, personal assistant, pa, aide, helper, right-hand man, henchman, underling
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A parliamentary representative in certain countries.
      ‘the communists had numbered 324 out of the 450 deputies’
      • ‘Certain professions entailing privacy issues - such as priests, lawyers and parliamentary deputies - were excluded from the provisions of the law.’
      • ‘Since then, they have had five deputies in the Parliament.’
      • ‘As the protest continued three parliamentary deputies attempted to discuss the teachers' concerns.’
      • ‘A total of 349 million people were eligible to vote for the 732 deputies of the European Parliament.’
      • ‘The two parties will have a total of 306 deputies in the new parliament.’
    2. 1.2British A coal mine official responsible for safety.
      • ‘And last month the pit deputies union Nacods also reluctantly agreed to the deal, despite months of trying to negotiate a national agreement.’
      • ‘The dockers went on strike in July and pit deputies in the union threatened to strike in October.’
      • ‘The general secretary of the pit deputies union said it was ironic British mineworkers were wanted in Australia.’
      • ‘He was a pit deputy at Redbrook colliery on the outskirts of Barnsley, in a different union.’
      • ‘Members of the pit deputies union were poised to stage the first of eight one-day strikes next Tuesday in a dispute over pay and conditions.’


  • by deputy

    • historical Instructing another person to act in one's stead; by proxy.

      ‘the wardens of the forests performed important duties by deputy’
      • ‘Colonial offices were often granted to men who had obligations and duties in England, who had no intention of leaving England, and who performed their colonial duties by deputy.’
      • ‘Either of these dignities was often conferred by way of compliment on the emperor, who usually discharged its duties by deputy.’
      • ‘At that time the office was granted to the chancellor of England, who executed the duties by deputy.’
      • ‘These clerks were appointed by patent for life, and were allowed to perform their duties by deputy.’
      • ‘The Registrar shall discharge such duties in respect of examinations as may be delegated to him by the Senate and he may perform these duties by deputy.’


Late Middle English: from Old French depute, from late Latin deputatus, past participle of deputare (see depute).