A deputy is a sheriff's assistant, the person who fills in when the sheriff isn't available. When a deputy is in charge, she has the same powers and authority as the sheriff.

You can use the noun deputy for anyone who is singled out to step in for another person. A deputy leader of a government fills in when the president or prime minister is ill, and a magazine's deputy editor is qualified to edit an issue when the editor isn't available. The Middle French root is députer, "appoint or assign," from the Late Latin deputare.

Definitions of deputy
  1. noun
    a person appointed to represent or act on behalf of others
    synonyms: surrogate
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    someone appointed by a ruler as an administrative deputy
    type of:
    a representative who acts on behalf of other persons or organizations
  2. noun
    an assistant with power to act when his superior is absent
    synonyms: lieutenant
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    someone who relieves a commander
    (Roman Catholic Church) an administrative deputy who assists a bishop
    a regent's deputy
    type of:
    assistant, help, helper, supporter
    a person who contributes to the fulfillment of a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose
  3. noun
    someone authorized to exercise the powers of sheriff in emergencies
    synonyms: deputy sheriff
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    type of:
    law officer, lawman, peace officer
    an officer of the law
  4. noun
    a member of the lower chamber of a legislative assembly (such as in France)
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    type of:
    someone who makes or enacts laws
Word Family