A beadle is a church leader. Often, a beadle serves as an usher or manages charities for the church.

The noun beadle isn't used very often in American English, though it's still a fairly common term in Britain, where beadles hold symbolic or ceremonial jobs in parishes or at universities. Perhaps the most famous fictional beadle is found in Charles Dickens' novel "Oliver Twist," the cruel Mr. Bumble. Beadle comes from an Old English root word, bydel, which means "a person who makes a proclamation."

Definitions of beadle

n a minor parish official who serves a ceremonial function

Type of:
functionary, official
a worker who holds or is invested with an office

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