Clerk (klẽrk; in Eng. klärk; 277), n. [Either OF. clerc, fr. L. clericus a priest, or AS. clerc, cleric, clerk, priest, fr. L. clericus, fr. Gr. klhriko`s belonging to the clergy, fr. klh^ros lot, allotment, clergy; cf. Deut. xviii. 2. Cf. Clergy.] 1. A clergyman or ecclesiastic. [Obs.]

All persons were styled clerks that served in the church of Christ.

2. A man who could read; a scholar; a learned person; a man of letters. [Obs.] "Every one that could read . . . being accounted a clerk." Blackstone.

He was no great clerk, but he was perfectly well versed in the interests of Europe.

3. A parish officer, being a layman who leads in reading the responses of the Episcopal church service, and otherwise assists in it. [Eng.] Hook.

And like unlettered clerk still cry "Amen".

4. One employed to keep records or accounts; a scribe; an accountant; as, the clerk of a court; a town clerk.

The clerk of the crown . . . withdrew the bill.

☞ In some cases, clerk is synonymous with secretary. A clerk is always an officer subordinate to a higher officer, board, corporation, or person; whereas a secretary may be either a subordinate or the head of an office or department.

5. An assistant in a shop or store. [U. S.]