Definition of clerk in English:

clerk

noun

  • 1A person employed in an office or bank to keep records, accounts, and undertake other routine administrative duties.

    ‘the clerk inserted the bank's master key in the lower lock’
    • ‘His bank has to fly the slip of paper cross-country to your bank so clerks there can look it over.’
    • ‘He presented the photo-card and a partially-completed withdrawal slip for £4,800 to a bank clerk, who became suspicious.’
    • ‘What could distinguish one store clerk from another, or even a bank clerk?’
    • ‘Jean, a young man who works as a bank clerk, is invited to the casino by a friend and promptly wins big at roulette.’
    • ‘A bank clerk who stole more than £39,000 from the branch where she worked has been jailed for 15 months.’
    • ‘In one exercise, they caught a solicitor, a doctor, two bank clerks and an accountant for ‘short fares’.’
    • ‘The trio arrived at the bank around 9: 40 am when there were only five bank clerks and two customers inside.’
    • ‘Provincial bank clerks who haven't had a promotion in 10 years are not the stuff of legend.’
    • ‘A Croatian bank robber was so humiliated that he ran away after a bank clerk just laughed at him when he tried to rob them.’
    • ‘The option of personal interaction between the customer and the bank clerk should be preserved and indeed improved.’
    • ‘Many male artistes feel constrained to continue as bank clerks or chartered accountants, even though they know that a career in music demands full-time effort.’
    • ‘Seraph signed the paperwork for the clerk to bill her bank account, having nowhere near the amount in ready cash, and they prepared to take the bed to the apartment.’
    • ‘Ultimately, it will reduce the demand for bank clerks, but that doesn't mean bank clerks will go unemployed.’
    • ‘Most intriguing of all will be the many guns lurking around the Mound from the days when bank clerks routinely settled disputes with their customers by fighting a duel.’
    • ‘‘The bank clerk was very helpful, he promised to help us,’ Lateera said slowly.’
    • ‘Cantillon employed clerks in his bank - professional copyists and document preparers - who could have made copies in their spare time.’
    • ‘I suggest that we sit down for a moment on a nearby bench, which is miraculously free of dossers and bank clerks.’
    • ‘This group included working mothers, copy editors, loggers, divorcées, construction workers, cashiers, field hands, bank clerks, tailors.’
    • ‘Thousands of police officers, railway conductors and bank clerks attend Samsung's ‘Service Academy’ to learn to bow and answer customer questions.’
    • ‘For a bank clerk, hairdresser, or singer, the manner in which the service is produced is an essential element of the total promotion of the service.’
    office worker, clerical worker, administrator, administrative officer
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An official in charge of the records of a local council or court.
      ‘a clerk to the court’
      • ‘The clerk of the court had made the following entries in his log.’
      • ‘Official marriages, officiated by either religious authorities or by municipal clerks or judges, must be dissolved by the legal procedure of divorce.’
      • ‘He had immigrated to Israel in 1947, and had been employed as a clerk in a municipal office throughout his working years in Israel.’
      • ‘Due to the large numbers of those indicted, the court clerks eventually tired of writing the charge in full and began to abbreviate it.’
      • ‘It appears from an affidavit by the court clerk that two cases were scheduled for hearing that day, including the case which is the subject of this application for judicial review.’
      • ‘The clerks, who prepared legal documents, registered deeds, and issued licences, were commoners who did not own property, hold degrees, or belong to the elite gentry families.’
      • ‘Anyone can file a complaint for judicial misconduct with the clerk of the federal court of appeals for the circuit in which a given judge sits.’
      • ‘I'll be talking with two authors and former clerks of the Supreme Court next.’
      • ‘The court, usually presided over by peers, had professional lawyers as clerks.’
      • ‘The certificate, when endorsed, goes to the clerk of the court.’
      • ‘A lawyer with a pending lawsuit asks the clerk of the court for a stack of blank subpoenas.’
      • ‘The courts employ 60 clerks who act as legal advisers to magistrates.’
      • ‘The Council revoked the authority of district and circuit court clerks to issue marriage licenses.’
      • ‘She spent several years as a dispatcher for the Pender County, N.C., sheriff's office and a year as a clerk of the county court.’
      • ‘If York's soldiers wish to really shine on the parade ground, they should take lessons from the barristers and solicitors' clerks at York Crown Court.’
      • ‘To get information about the Small Claims process and the dollar limitations that apply, contact the court clerk at your local courthouse.’
      • ‘There, as the only female clerk employed, she was paid the full male rate at a time when most women received only 54 per cent of a male wage.’
      • ‘It clearly does not mean a place where a clerk presides over a court on the record and purports to deal with matters that are before the court for plea and disposition.’
      • ‘Information and training must be given to people so that they will know how to approach magistrate court clerks.’
      • ‘It was an unseemly episode, the prosecutor forcing clerks to interrupt court business because he wanted space for his staff.’
    2. 1.2 A lay officer of a cathedral, parish church, college chapel, etc.
      ‘a chapter clerk’
      • ‘When I finally found an adult in the crowd, she directed me to Susan, the clerk of the church ‘session.’’
      • ‘He had served on Ryedale District Council since 1991 and was clerk to Sheriff Hutton Parish Council for almost 48 years.’
      • ‘Now a lay clerk in Worcester Cathedral, he also conducts and tours his own chamber choir.’
      • ‘The clerk to the Wimbish Parish Council said she believed the whole village would be saddened by the deaths.’
      • ‘She was also clerk of Little Ouseburn parish council for 27 years.’
      • ‘In Leeds boy choristers and lay clerks from the parish church and pupils from St Peter's Church of England Primary School took part.’
      • ‘This was about the clerk of that parish, whose wife used to wash the parson's surplices.’
      • ‘I have contacted the clerks of both the parish and town councils which will be affected.’
      • ‘The superintendent of the Sunday School and the church clerk were also men.’
      • ‘They have served as Sunday School superintendent, church secretary, and church clerk.’
      • ‘Before going to school George was also taught by the clerk in his father's parish in Skreen.’
      • ‘The chapter clerk said: ‘We are not putting out any statement until after a meeting of the cathedral council on Monday.’’
      • ‘It has involved the resignation of the cathedral chapter clerk, bursar and organist.’
      • ‘‘People had been writing secret letters for three years,’ says a former church clerk.’
      • ‘He is also a singing teacher at Manchester Grammar School and a lay clerk at Manchester Cathedral.’
      • ‘Quite a number of the latter were educated and were employed by the Church in various intellectual occupations such as catechists, clerks and doctors.’
  • 2North American A receptionist in a hotel.

    • ‘‘They came in around 10 or 11 a.m. and started talking to my desk clerk,’ he said.’
    • ‘I watched her as she stared at the desk clerk wide-eyed.’
    • ‘You also have some rather elegant hotel reservations in St. Petersburg, the front desk clerk is Agent 21, so I'm sure you'll have no problems there.’
    • ‘When we complained to the desk clerk, he looked at the two of us and said simply, ‘One room.’’
    • ‘One of the figures was the familiar desk clerk from the hotel.’
    • ‘We returned to the hotel late, only to be greeted by a tense desk clerk with a note in his hand.’
    • ‘At night, he is a desk clerk at a multinational hotel watching all that come and go, having to chew on a medicinal root to stay awake.’
    • ‘The desk clerk smiled far too perkily for Simon's taste.’
    • ‘For a time I lived in the Bell Hotel and worked as a desk clerk.’
    • ‘She tossed the desk clerk her key before leaving the hotel.’
    • ‘The desk clerk looked up over round-lensed glasses.’
    • ‘Paulo took a deep breath and approached the desk clerk.’
    • ‘Now he works two jobs, as a taxicab driver and as a hotel desk clerk.’
    • ‘We got our instructions from the hotel desk clerk, a blond beauty, whom we watched deftly handle business in Dutch, English, German and Spanish.’
    • ‘Maze smiled and waved his card to the front desk clerk.’
    • ‘The desk clerk wakes and begins to shout, ‘Can you see anything?’’
    • ‘We could go to the beach today and tonight ask the hotel desk clerk to arrange a boat.’
    • ‘There is nothing more annoying at 6: 00 o'clock in the morning than a cheery-voiced desk clerk telling you it's time to get up.’
    • ‘I carried Katie into the lobby of an Annapolis hotel and asked the desk clerk for a room.’
    • ‘The desk clerk at the hotel lied to the representative and claimed there were no picketers, but the customer service representative could hear the bullhorns over the phone.’
    1. 2.1 An assistant in a store; a salesclerk.
      • ‘In the shop he asked a clerk what a good present would be for a friend.’
      • ‘If that doesn't suit you, you could try asking the clerks at the fabric shop where you buy your cloth.’
      • ‘‘Consider the motel housekeeper, the retail clerk at the hardware store or the coffee shop cook,’ the report said.’
      • ‘An older woman in Florida asked the clerk in her gun shop to show her how to lock open the Kahr P9 she bought there.’
      • ‘When I was 18 a 7-11 clerk refused to sell me food telling me I was too fat to eat.’
      • ‘The shop clerk moved forward until he was standing alongside Harry in front of the glass cases.’
      • ‘People often must have several O-levels (equivalent to one or two years of American college) to be hired as a clerk in a store.’
      • ‘They have to be shopping partners, not salespeople or clerks.’
      • ‘Hiring enough stockers and clerks to keep merchandise flowing into shopping bags may be the right call.’
      • ‘Jesse was checking out some pies on display when a clerk offered assistance.’
      • ‘Most of the counter clerks in the retail sector, especially in the supermarkets, came from the lower socio-economic sector.’
      • ‘Later, the second son becomes a clerk of the grain shop, comes to manage Wang Lung's finances, and marries a village maid.’
      • ‘His father worked in Kumbakonam as a clerk in a cloth merchant's shop.’
      • ‘Ask the shop clerk (your new friend) to point out a couple of classic examples of Australian wines and tell you as much as possible about them.’
      • ‘The day of the show, I was in a posh glasses shop, begging the clerks to fix the specs I'd destroyed the previous night.’
      • ‘They had no luck in finding any so they asked the clerk for a specialty shop.’
      • ‘In daily life, I may look no different than your typical shoe clerk.’
      • ‘They knew that several clerks lived in the shop and they felt that they would have to kill them in order to assure a successful robbery.’
      • ‘Stucco housing developments spill into the desert, fuelled by the influx of waitresses, shop clerks, card-dealers and construction workers.’
      • ‘The shop clerk, however, was unable to sleep at all.’
      seller, salesperson, salesman, saleswoman, dealer, trader, tradesman, retailer, shopkeeper, shopman, shop girl, shop boy, sales assistant, assistant, wholesaler, merchant, trafficker, purveyor, supplier, stockist, marketer, marketeer, sales representative, door-to-door salesman, travelling salesman, commercial traveller
      View synonyms
  • 3formal A member of the clergy.

    • ‘He quit as he faced trial before an ecclesiastical court on 21 charges of conduct unbecoming a clerk in holy orders.’
    • ‘One hundred and fifty years later, the situation had so changed that a distinction was drawn between mere lay scholars and clerks in holy orders.’
    • ‘‘This follows allegations of conduct unbecoming a clerk in holy orders,’ it stated.’
    • ‘It may result in the putting on trial of the dean in the church courts on a charge of conduct unbecoming a clerk in holy orders, and an announcement is expected within weeks.’
    • ‘He said: ‘I think people are moving from all sorts of different trades to become clerks in holy orders now, including those who have been in the Army.’’
    • ‘The plan to appoint a brace of relatively young clerks to vacant bishoprics would destroy any prospect of him recovering effective control over the English church.’
    • ‘He had been due to appear before a diocesan Consistory Court on 21 charges of conduct unbecoming a clerk in holy orders and one of serious, persistent or continuous neglect of duty.’
    • ‘Dating from the 14th century, it became home for six chaplains and three clerks before its dissolution.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]North American
  • Work as a clerk.

    ‘eleven of those who left college this year are clerking in auction houses’
    • ‘Between the customary five-month terms of the school year, Mary clerked in her father's store.’
    • ‘So at 19 he took a job clerking in a housewares store, where he rose to become manager.’
    • ‘He once again failed at everything he tried and went to work for his father clerking at the tannery store - a job he despised.’
    • ‘I spent a year clerking for a judge on the Fifth Circuit, whose jurisdiction stretches across Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.’
    • ‘After clerking, Cutler spent a year representing minority oilfield workers in an employment lawsuit.’
    • ‘It's now or never - and, let's face it, anything would be better than his day job, clerking at Mallesons.’
    • ‘She is currently clerking for a federal judge in Manhattan.’
    • ‘He will serve, it looks like, with the judge he clerked for.’
    • ‘There used to be good jobs here, but now almost everything is near-minimum-wage retail clerking.’
    • ‘Kneeling to cut the cords of newspaper bundles, TickTock, clerking in his father's store, grinned up.’
    • ‘In 1847, he began clerking in the law office of Boston abolitionist Ellis Gray Loring.’
    • ‘He had come a long way down in the world, clerking in a surf shop and teaching Australian kids and Japanese tourists to surf on his lunch hour.’
    • ‘Practice-group leaders, who often have clerked for the Court or have argued before it, hold meetings and debates to formulate how to push case law toward Federalist principles.’
    • ‘It was just before his final year at Stanford Law School, and he was clerking during the summer at a firm in San Francisco.’
    • ‘I was clerking at the Institute for Justice that summer, and a writer for Reason magazine gave away some extra copies to the clerks.’
    • ‘I suffered through 13 years clerking and buying for a retail gun store to gather firearm industry experience.’
    • ‘She went to San Francisco to work and came back, clerked for a federal judge and then got a job in a law firm and just steadily worked her way up.’
    • ‘Born in New York in 1816 and a graduate of Princeton, Conkling had clerked briefly in New Jersey then moved to Illinois in 1838 and was admitted to the bar that October.’
    • ‘The judge was the man for whom she had clerked, a widower with a heavy Russian accent and a love of the absurd.’
    • ‘When I graduated from law school in 1975, I clerked for a judge on the Ninth Circuit; at that time each judge disposed on the merits of approximately 210 cases a year.’

Origin

Old English cleric, clerc (in the sense ‘ordained minister, literate person’), from ecclesiastical Latin clericus ‘clergyman’ (see cleric); reinforced by Old French clerc, from the same source. clerk (sense 1 of the noun) dates from the early 16th century.

Pronunciation

clerk

/klərk//klərk/