Definition of deputy in US English:



  • 1A person whose immediate superior is a senior figure within an organization and who is empowered to act as a substitute for this superior.

    • ‘Last week he was appointed interim deputy leader of the party during the leadership race.’
    • ‘He served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Antitrust Division.’
    • ‘Apart from being deputy premier he also held the portfolios of commerce and trade, small business and regional development.’
    • ‘The vacancies at the top, with just two deputy commissioners managing the show, has slowed down the administration.’
    • ‘Since his health was poor, moreover, he appointed a deputy to perform most of the routine presidential duties.’
    • ‘In May 1998, he was appointed deputy assistant commissioner with the Metropolitan Police.’
    • ‘The report also recommended giving heads, deputies and assistant heads set time for management duties.’
    • ‘He also wants to bag the post of deputy chief minister for the party.’
    • ‘Eleven years later he joined the board and was appointed deputy chairman in May 2000.’
    • ‘The Government suspended 18 policemen, including two deputy commissioners of police, and two excise department officials.’
    • ‘While I was a deputy mayor I laid a wreath on the war memorial.’
    • ‘The Commissioner is assisted by a deputy commissioner and a number of directors and professional advisers.’
    • ‘The deputy chairman's allowance has also been cut from £2,370 to nothing.’
    • ‘He was later promoted brigadier, and made a deputy director of military intelligence.’
    • ‘The deputy superintendent urged all road users to comply with the laws in the interests of road safety.’
    • ‘Lancashire's fire service has appointed a new deputy chief fire officer.’
    • ‘It was, however, recently reported that he had taken the unusual step of appointing a deputy.’
    • ‘He became deputy managing editor in December 1997.’
    • ‘Tomorrow I hand over the Principal Clerk's duties to my deputy.’
    • ‘The National Railway Museum has appointed a new deputy head with a strong background in serving York's heritage.’
    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.
      • ‘Certain professions entailing privacy issues - such as priests, lawyers and parliamentary deputies - were excluded from the provisions of the law.’
      • ‘A total of 349 million people were eligible to vote for the 732 deputies of the European Parliament.’
      • ‘As the protest continued three parliamentary deputies attempted to discuss the teachers' concerns.’
      • ‘Since then, they have had five deputies in the Parliament.’
      • ‘The two parties will have a total of 306 deputies in the new parliament.’


  • by deputy

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

      ‘the wardens of the forests performed important duties by deputy’
      • ‘These clerks were appointed by patent for life, and were allowed to perform their duties by deputy.’
      • ‘At that time the office was granted to the chancellor of England, who executed the 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).