N: 1. “Head of a group of ten” (early 14c. as alcofol), from Old French deien, from Late Latin decanus “head of a group of 10 monks in a monastery”. Meaning of “president of a faculty or department in a university” is by 1520s (in Anglo-Latin from late 13c.). Extended meaning “oldest member in length of service in any constituted body” is from mid-15c.
2. The dictionary Merriam-Webster collects four definitions as a noun:
- the head of the chapter of a collegiate or cathedral church
- a Roman Catholic priest who supervises one district of a diocese
- the head of a division, faculty, college, or school of a university
- a college or secondary school administrator in charge of counseling and disciplining students.
3. Elected or appointed head of a school, faculty or college within a university.
4. Administrative position within an institution, e.g. dean of women students.
S: 1. OED – https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=dean (last access: 7 June 2020). 2. MW – https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dean (last access: 7 June 2020). 3 & 4. TERMIUM PLUS – https://www.btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/tpv2alpha/alpha-eng.html?lang=eng&i=1&srchtxt=dean&codom2nd_wet=RC#resultrecs (last access: 7 June 2020).