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

1540s, from disciple + -ship.


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).

71 queries 0.583