Definition of deputy in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘Last week he was appointed interim deputy leader of the party during the leadership race.’
    • ‘Eleven years later he joined the board and was appointed deputy chairman in May 2000.’
    • ‘Apart from being deputy premier he also held the portfolios of commerce and trade, small business and regional development.’
    • ‘The report also recommended giving heads, deputies and assistant heads set time for management duties.’
    • ‘While I was a deputy mayor I laid a wreath on the war memorial.’
    • ‘Tomorrow I hand over the Principal Clerk's duties to my deputy.’
    • ‘He became deputy managing editor in December 1997.’
    • ‘The vacancies at the top, with just two deputy commissioners managing the show, has slowed down the administration.’
    • ‘The National Railway Museum has appointed a new deputy head with a strong background in serving York's heritage.’
    • ‘In May 1998, he was appointed deputy assistant commissioner with the Metropolitan Police.’
    • ‘The deputy chairman's allowance has also been cut from £2,370 to nothing.’
    • ‘Lancashire's fire service has appointed a new deputy chief fire officer.’
    • ‘The deputy superintendent urged all road users to comply with the laws in the interests of road safety.’
    • ‘The Commissioner is assisted by a deputy commissioner and a number of directors and professional advisers.’
    • ‘Since his health was poor, moreover, he appointed a deputy to perform most of the routine presidential 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.’
    • ‘It was, however, recently reported that he had taken the unusual step of appointing a deputy.’
    • ‘He was later promoted brigadier, and made a deputy director of military intelligence.’
    • ‘He served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Antitrust Division.’
    second in command, second, number two, subordinate, junior, auxiliary, adjutant, lieutenant, subaltern, assistant, personal assistant, pa, aide, helper, right-hand man, henchman, underling
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    1. 1.1 A parliamentary representative in certain countries.
      ‘the communists had numbered 324 out of the 450 deputies’
      • ‘A total of 349 million people were eligible to vote for the 732 deputies of the European Parliament.’
      • ‘Since then, they have had five deputies in the Parliament.’
      • ‘As the protest continued three parliamentary deputies attempted to discuss the teachers' concerns.’
      • ‘The two parties will have a total of 306 deputies in the new parliament.’
      • ‘Certain professions entailing privacy issues - such as priests, lawyers and parliamentary deputies - were excluded from the provisions of the law.’
    2. 1.2British A coal mine official responsible for safety.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


  • by deputy

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

      ‘the wardens of the forests performed important 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.’
      • ‘Either of these dignities was often conferred by way of compliment on the emperor, who usually discharged its 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.’
      • ‘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.’


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