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Etymology 1

Borrowed from Old French apostle, from Late Latin apostolus, from Ancient Greek (apóstolos, "one sent forth, apostle"). Merged with Old English apostol, borrowing from the same Latin source.


apostle (plural apostles)

  1. A missionary, or leader of a religious mission, especially one in the early Christian Church (but see Apostle).
    • (Can we date this quote?) (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      Jesus called them one by one: / Peter, Andrew, James and John. / Next came Philip, Thomas too, / Matthew and Bartholomew. / James the one they called the Less, / Simon, also Thaddeus. / Judas twelve apostles made / Jesus was by him betrayed.
  2. A pioneer or early advocate of a particular cause, prophet of a belief.
    • 1895-1897, H[erbert] G[eorge] Wells, "The Eve of the War", in The War of the Worlds, London: William Heinemann, published 1898, OCLC 699873, book I (The Coming of the Martians), pages 4-5:
      [W]e must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon its own inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit?
  3. A top-ranking ecclesiastical official in the twelve seat administrative council of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  4. (obsolete, Cambridge slang) A person who is plucked, that is, refused an academic degree.[1]
Derived terms
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2

See apostil.


apostle (plural apostles)

  1. (law) A letter dismissory.
  2. (law) A note sent to an appeals court presenting the appeal in summary.
  3. (law) The trial court record sent to an appeal court concerning an appeal.


  1. ^ John S. Farmer & W. E. Henley, Slang and Its Analogues Past and Present, ->ISBN, https://books.google.com/books?id=tNttOhz6_s8C


Old French

Alternative forms


Borrowed from Late Latin apostolus, from Ancient Greek (apóstolos, "one sent forth, apostle").


apostle m (oblique plural apostles, nominative singular apostles, nominative plural apostle)

  1. apostle
    • circa 1100,, Chanson de Roland:
      Recleimet Deu e l'apostle de Rome
      Imploring God and the apostle of Rome


  • English: apostle
  • French: apôtre
  • Norman: apôtre

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