1. Religion.
    1. one of the 12 personal followers of Christ.
    2. one of the 70 followers sent forth by Christ. Luke 10:1.
    3. any other professed follower of Christ in His lifetime.
  2. any follower of Christ.
  3. (initial capital letter) a member of the Disciples of Christ.
  4. a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; follower: a disciple of Freud.

verb (used with object), dis·ci·pled, dis·ci·pling.

  1. Archaic. to convert into a disciple.
  2. Obsolete. to teach; train.


  1. a follower of the doctrines of a teacher or a school of thought
  2. one of the personal followers of Christ (including his 12 apostles) during his earthly life

Old English discipul (fem. discipula), Biblical borrowing from Latin discipulus “pupil, student, follower,” said to be from discere “to learn” [OED, Watkins], from a reduplicated form of PIE root *dek- “to take, accept” (see decent).

But according to Barnhart and Klein, from a lost compound *discipere “to grasp intellectually, analyze thoroughly,” from dis- “apart” (see dis-) + capere “to take, take hold of” (see capable). Cf. Latin capulus “handle” from capere. Sometimes glossed in Old English by þegn (see thane).

The followers of Jesus, who adhered to his teaching and transmitted it to others. The Twelve Apostles were the disciples closest to Jesus.

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