Definition of deputy in US English:


nounPlural deputies

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

    • ‘Lancashire's fire service has appointed a new deputy chief fire officer.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In May 1998, he was appointed deputy assistant commissioner with the Metropolitan Police.’
    • ‘It was, however, recently reported that he had taken the unusual step of appointing a deputy.’
    • ‘The deputy superintendent urged all road users to comply with the laws in the interests of road safety.’
    • ‘Eleven years later he joined the board and was appointed deputy chairman in May 2000.’
    • ‘The deputy chairman's allowance has also been cut from £2,370 to nothing.’
    • ‘The Government suspended 18 policemen, including two deputy commissioners of police, and two excise department officials.’
    • ‘Since his health was poor, moreover, he appointed a deputy to perform most of the routine presidential duties.’
    • ‘Tomorrow I hand over the Principal Clerk's duties to my deputy.’
    • ‘The vacancies at the top, with just two deputy commissioners managing the show, has slowed down the administration.’
    • ‘He became deputy managing editor in December 1997.’
    • ‘Last week he was appointed interim deputy leader of the party during the leadership race.’
    • ‘He was later promoted brigadier, and made a deputy director of military intelligence.’
    • ‘He served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Antitrust Division.’
    • ‘While I was a deputy mayor I laid a wreath on the war memorial.’
    • ‘The National Railway Museum has appointed a new deputy head with a strong background in serving York's heritage.’
    • ‘The Commissioner is assisted by a deputy commissioner and a number of directors and professional advisers.’
    • ‘Apart from being deputy premier he also held the portfolios of commerce and trade, small business and regional development.’
    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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘Either of these dignities was often conferred by way of compliment on the emperor, who usually discharged its 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.’
      • ‘At that time the office was granted to the chancellor of England, who executed the 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.’
      • ‘These clerks were appointed by patent for life, and were allowed to perform their duties by deputy.’


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