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’
    • ‘It was, however, recently reported that he had taken the unusual step of appointing a deputy.’
    • ‘The vacancies at the top, with just two deputy commissioners managing the show, has slowed down the administration.’
    • ‘Apart from being deputy premier he also held the portfolios of commerce and trade, small business and regional development.’
    • ‘Since his health was poor, moreover, he appointed a deputy to perform most of the routine presidential duties.’
    • ‘He became deputy managing editor in December 1997.’
    • ‘Last week he was appointed interim deputy leader of the party during the leadership race.’
    • ‘The deputy chairman's allowance has also been cut from £2,370 to nothing.’
    • ‘The Commissioner is assisted by a deputy commissioner and a number of directors and professional advisers.’
    • ‘The National Railway Museum has appointed a new deputy head with a strong background in serving York's heritage.’
    • ‘He served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Antitrust Division.’
    • ‘The Government suspended 18 policemen, including two deputy commissioners of police, and two excise department officials.’
    • ‘Tomorrow I hand over the Principal Clerk's duties to my deputy.’
    • ‘The deputy superintendent urged all road users to comply with the laws in the interests of road safety.’
    • ‘The report also recommended giving heads, deputies and assistant heads set time for management duties.’
    • ‘He was later promoted brigadier, and made a deputy director of military intelligence.’
    • ‘Eleven years later he joined the board and was appointed deputy chairman in May 2000.’
    • ‘While I was a deputy mayor I laid a wreath on the war memorial.’
    • ‘In May 1998, he was appointed deputy assistant commissioner with the Metropolitan Police.’
    • ‘He also wants to bag the post of deputy chief minister for the party.’
    • ‘Lancashire's fire service has appointed a new deputy chief fire officer.’
    substitute, stand-in, acting, reserve, fill-in, caretaker, temporary, short-term, provisional, stopgap, surrogate, proxy, representative
    pro tempore, ad interim
    second in command, second, number two, subordinate, junior, auxiliary, adjutant, lieutenant, subaltern, assistant, personal assistant, pa, aide, helper, right-hand man, henchman, underling
    substitute, stand-in, fill-in, relief, understudy, supply
    representative, surrogate, proxy, delegate, agent, spokesperson, ambassador, legate
    locum tenens
    vice, girl friday, man friday, sidekick, locum, temp
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A 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.’
      • ‘The two parties will have a total of 306 deputies in the new 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.’
      • ‘Since then, they have had five deputies in the Parliament.’
    2. 1.2British A coal mine official responsible for safety.
      • ‘The general secretary of the pit deputies union said it was ironic British mineworkers were wanted in Australia.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was a pit deputy at Redbrook colliery on the outskirts of Barnsley, in a different union.’
      • ‘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.’


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