Word of the Day – acolyte

The Word of the Day for May 18th, 2011 is:

acolyte \AK-uh-lyte\noun
1: one who assists a member of the clergy in a liturgical service by performing minor duties
2: one who attends or assists : follower

Example Sentences:

The lawyer arrived with one of her acolytes, an eager young attorney who looked at her with obvious admiration.

“The abbess’s rank is clear — below the masters, above the acolytes — but Housekeeper Satsuki shoulders more duties than she enjoys privileges.” — From David Mitchell’s 2010 novel The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

 
In episode 5, Sheldon is forced by the others to finally learn how to drive, while in the next episode, he acquires an obsessive girlfriend/acolyte/stalker.The Big Bang Theory Season 2 » DVDs Worth Watching
 
The Fountainhead is still a decent potboiler.  But I can barely read Atlas Shrugged anymore.  Mostly because it reminds me of far too many years I spent being a Rand acolyte.  I was never, thank God, a full blown Orthodox Objectivist, but I was definitely pretty obsessed.The League of Ordinary Gentlemen
 
Meanwhile, despite being an acolyte of David Miliband, she has since spun on a sixpence to support his brother Ed to the hilt. - The Telegraph
 
The Stardust and Coraline scribe has created a story that is enmeshed in the show’s mythology but isn’t self-indulgent or inaccessible to non-acolytes: that’s thanks to a script that provides both an endless stream of brilliant dialogue and has a remarkable knack of following funny with emotional with scary with funny with emotional with scary – and so on. – SFX

By the end of the book Crowley is shown to be a sad and lonely old man, a heroin addict with delusions of grandeur, a pathetic figure in every sense of the word.And yet…There is nothing here to explain Crowley’s continuing appeal. Mercenary, perverse, monstrously selfish, how is that he attracted so many acolytes- London Book Review

Did you know?

Follow the etymological path of “acolyte” back far enough and you’ll arrive at “keleuthos,” a Greek noun that means “path” and that is itself the parent of “akolouthos,” an adjective that means “following.” “Akolouthos” traveled from Greek, leaving offspring in Medieval Latin and Anglo-French, and its descendant, “acolyte,” emerged in English in the 14th century. Originally, it was exclusively a term for a person who assisted a priest at Mass, but by the 19th century “acolyte” had acquired additional meanings, among them “attendant body, satellite” (a meaning used in astronomy) and “attendant insect” (a zoological sense), as well as the general meaning “assistant” or “sidekick.”
 
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