Definition of apostle in US English:

apostle

noun

  • 1Each of the twelve chief disciples of Jesus Christ.

    The twelve Apostles were Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (the Less), Judas (or Thaddaeus), Simon, and Judas Iscariot. After the suicide of Judas Iscariot his place was taken by Matthias

    • ‘His martyrdom is the first - and only one - among the Apostles to be recorded in Scripture.’
    • ‘He compares each of Francis's early companions to one of the twelve Apostles.’
    • ‘Someone is working their way through the twelve Apostles.’
    • ‘Eighteen ornate towers represent the Apostles, Evangelists, Jesus and Mary.’
    • ‘Their assigned roles as Christ, Apostles and Mary Magdalene, begin to affect their daily lives.’
    • ‘The original twelve Apostles had all known Jesus in the flesh on earth, and had seen him in the flesh after his resurrection.’
    • ‘Bishops today are thought to be the successors of the Apostles.’
    • ‘Christ, the Virgin Mary, the Apostles, saints, angels and religious events are depicted.’
    • ‘At the last supper, Jesus Christ tells the Apostles: ‘Now I'm going to turn the water into wine.’’
    • ‘Shortly after Jesus ascended to heaven, he made a promise to the Apostles we read in Acts 1: 8.’
    • ‘He taught that the Church had become corrupt from the very beginning, and that the Apostles had failed to carry out the Lord's commission.’
    • ‘But this is on the condition, and only on the condition, that we are walking in the light of His will, keeping the commandments of Christ and His Apostles.’
    • ‘The Bible claims to be a reliable historical record and this history from the very beginning was attested to by Christ and the Apostles.’
    • ‘This is evident in the lives of the prophets, John the Baptist, the Apostles and the Lord Jesus Christ himself.’
    • ‘Did the church, prior to the death of the last Apostle come to possess ‘all the truth’?’
    • ‘The Apostles of the Lamb had little to say about Hell or Heaven.’
    • ‘After capitulating before a vicious reign of terror, the Apostle confesses to Mary and promptly rounds a corner on his way to becoming a rock of the Church.’
    1. 1.1 Any important early Christian teacher, especially St. Paul.
      • ‘Our next study takes us to visions of Christ by the apostle Paul in which he received a severe rebuke from the heavenly Lord.’
      • ‘In the apostolic era many women are mentioned as apostles, leaders of house churches, prophets, deacons, and so on.’
      • ‘This story takes place in Jerusalem, while another story in the Apocrypha - set in Rome - tells of two jailers converted by Peter and Paul who release both apostles from prison.’
      • ‘Those who represent the Pentecostal movement say that missionaries function as apostles.’
      • ‘He would not have allowed women like Priscilla, Paul the apostle's business partner, to be called as a deacon.’
      • ‘The apostle Paul, facing the same situation, tore his robes with horror.’
      • ‘And so, because these early apostles were open to the Spirit, Christianity came to Europe.’
      • ‘The apostles and teachers of the church are entrusted with these tasks, and so to them Catholics should look first for guidance about how they are to live their lives.’
      • ‘He had to come and defend his teaching as an apostle of Jesus Christ among those churches.’
      • ‘We reject and condemn these errors and all others that contradict and contravene the above doctrine as being contrary to the pure Word of God, the writings of the holy prophets and apostles, and our Christian Creed and Confession.’
      • ‘In this spiritual and apostolic journey, St. Paul, an apostle of Gentiles, is the model for our lives.’
      • ‘The apostles (‘sent ones’ / missionaries) were people who cared.’
      • ‘So the apostle unveils Christ as Lord and unlocks the truth of Scripture, and lives a credible godly life in his ministry.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the apostle Paul says, unambiguously, that we're justified by faith apart from words, because the whole argument of his thrust is that Christ's death on the cross looks after all of our sins.’
      • ‘Then there was the missionary apostle represented by Paul.’
      • ‘Outside the Basilica in the piazza, gazing up at those enormous bronze statues of the apostles Peter and Paul, I could not help wondering how two simple men would feel about being cast in the mould of the institutional church.’
      • ‘I mean, God had taken me a murderer, and I feel that he's made me into a minister, just like he's done to the apostle Paul.’
      • ‘We're still feeling the fallout from the last time we got all excited about an archaeological link to the early apostles.’
      • ‘According to tradition, in the first century the apostle Thomas evangelized the region on his way to India.’
      • ‘There were many apostles before Paul and he declares that he is the last and the least.’
      • ‘In his view, the Hebrew prophets Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the early apostles, Paul, and John, were seers - persons who saw the fullness of God's appearance.’
      • ‘She, too, felt multiple calls; indeed, she felt all calls at once: ‘I feel the vocation of the warrior, the priest, the apostle, the doctor, the martyr,’ she wrote.’
      • ‘In addition it carried with it the notion of Christian, papal, power, with Rome being understood as the city of the apostles Peter and Paul.’
      • ‘Significantly, the apostle Paul mentions how the ‘god of this age’ has exerted himself to blind the minds of unbelievers.’
      • ‘The danger of false apostles and Paul's legitimate apostolic authority are the initial concerns expressed in his Epistle to the Galatians.’
      • ‘Always in the background, Barnabas enabled Paul to meet the apostles when they were too afraid to open any doors for Paul.’
      • ‘Paul, the apostle, says we are ‘new creatures’ once we have taken that step of faith..’
      disciple
      missionary, evangelist, evangelical, proselytizer, spreader of the faith, spreader of the word, preacher, teacher
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 The first successful Christian missionary in a country or to a people.
      ‘Kiril and Metodije, the apostles of the Slavs’
      • ‘We're still feeling the fallout from the last time we got all excited about an archaeological link to the early apostles.’
      • ‘According to tradition, in the first century the apostle Thomas evangelized the region on his way to India.’
      • ‘He had to come and defend his teaching as an apostle of Jesus Christ among those churches.’
      • ‘We reject and condemn these errors and all others that contradict and contravene the above doctrine as being contrary to the pure Word of God, the writings of the holy prophets and apostles, and our Christian Creed and Confession.’
      • ‘She, too, felt multiple calls; indeed, she felt all calls at once: ‘I feel the vocation of the warrior, the priest, the apostle, the doctor, the martyr,’ she wrote.’
      • ‘So the apostle unveils Christ as Lord and unlocks the truth of Scripture, and lives a credible godly life in his ministry.’
      • ‘The apostles (‘sent ones’ / missionaries) were people who cared.’
      • ‘Then there was the missionary apostle represented by Paul.’
      • ‘Those who represent the Pentecostal movement say that missionaries function as apostles.’
      • ‘In the apostolic era many women are mentioned as apostles, leaders of house churches, prophets, deacons, and so on.’
      • ‘The apostles and teachers of the church are entrusted with these tasks, and so to them Catholics should look first for guidance about how they are to live their lives.’
      • ‘And so, because these early apostles were open to the Spirit, Christianity came to Europe.’
      disciple
      missionary, evangelist, evangelical, proselytizer, spreader of the faith, spreader of the word, preacher, teacher
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 A vigorous and pioneering advocate or supporter of a particular policy, idea, or cause.
      ‘Leo Buscaglia, leading apostle of love and okayness’
      • ‘In order to rise to power, the shrewd chieftain of the Fascists did not hesitate to play the role of the apostle of free enterprise, advocating the immediate dismantling of all forms of wartime planning of economic activities.’
      • ‘The yuppie apostles of the ‘new economy’ will also be humbled by a plunging stock market.’
      • ‘It is not fashionable these days, in a world in which the apostles of the free market hold sway, to cite Karl Marx, who has long since been demonized in the cathedrals of capitalism.’
      • ‘Again, totalitarianism has an almost irresistible allure - it moves people - by reason of the emotional and essentially religious spirit which its leading apostles have infused into it.’
      • ‘He said the incident should be an eye opener to the apostles of democracy.’
      • ‘The apostles of the New Economy declared the irrelevance of everything invented before the Internet, and of any skills other than their own.’
      • ‘Even the apostles of the free market believe that our impact on nature has increased dramatically in the twentieth century (they just think it does not matter).’
      • ‘We no longer have to take the apostles of the new economy the least bit seriously.’
      • ‘In an age of cinema that favours familiarity, remake and rehash, this director remains one of the few remaining apostles of the pioneer spirit.’
      • ‘It suggests that the apostles of understanding are caught between two places.’
      • ‘We Americans are apostles of the Fast World, the prophets of the free market and high priest of high tech.’
      • ‘He was an saintly apostle of peace, love and unity and a great poet.’
      • ‘One was an apostle of selfless love; the other presided over the Me Decade.’
      • ‘While the idea of human improvement may be implicit in notions of renaissance, he was anything but an apostle of the idea of progress.’
      • ‘Worldwide, however, the paradox of his life and works persists as even the most stringent apostles of musical progress champion his music for its harmonic invention.’
      • ‘That is the point of his often quoted dictum: ‘The men of culture are the true apostles of equality.’’
      • ‘Greek and Latin signified far more than our modern apostles of ‘relevance’ will allow.’
      • ‘Some readers think he's a demonic force for mediocrity, others believe he's an apostle of decent design for the masses.’
      • ‘You were an apostle of peace and an advocate of humanity and human dignity.’
      advocate, apologist, proponent, exponent, promoter, propagandist, spokesperson, spokesman, spokeswoman, supporter, upholder, champion
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 One of the twelve administrative officers of the Mormon church.
      • ‘In that time twelve apostles were appointed, Smith became first president, received his revelation about plural marriages, and was killed in prison.’
      • ‘However, certainly one of his newest lieutenants, former Mormon apostle and unpredictable disciple, William Smith, did try to seize the temple.’
      • ‘That was when I met the grandson of M. Lyman, one of the original apostles of the Mormon church, an original pioneer in the Mormon crossing of the plains.’

Origin

Old English apostol, via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek apostolos ‘messenger’, from apostellein ‘send forth’.

Pronunciation

apostle

/əˈpɑsəl//əˈpäsəl/