Acolyte refers to a person who assists in a religious service or ceremony, typically in a subordinate role to a higher authority.


US English

UK English

Part of speech



Assistant, Attendant, Follower, Helper, Junior, Servant, Aide, Disciple, Helper, Trainee.


Master, Leader, Manager, Boss, Superior.

Example sentences

  • The young boy was excited to be an acolyte at his church’s Sunday service.
  • The bishop’s acolyte carried a large cross during the procession.
  • The acolyte lit the candles on the altar before the start of the evening mass.
  • The priest instructed the acolyte on the proper placement of the liturgical items.


Acolyte is a noun that refers to a person who assists in a religious service or ceremony. It can be used in various contexts such as Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist faiths. Acolytes are typically trained individuals who help out in their respective religious communities. They help in the preparation and execution of liturgical rites and are often seen performing tasks like lighting candles, carrying crosses, assisting priests and pastors, and setting up for the service.

The word “acolyte” finds its roots in the Greek language, where it comes from the word “akolouthos” which means “follower”. The prefix “a-” means “not” or “against”, thus making “acolyte” someone who is not a master but a follower. The suffix “-ite” denotes that the word refers to a person or object related to a specific group or element.

The use of acolytes in religious services has been present for centuries, and it is still widespread today. Acolytes play an essential role in ensuring that the ceremonies are handled with utmost care and that everything runs smoothly. In some cases, they may receive training to prepare them to take on more significant roles within the religious organization.

More recently, the word has been used in a secular context, referring to someone who is a passionate and devoted follower of another person or cause. This usage is often seen in pop culture and social media, where people may refer to their favorite musicians or artists as their “acolytes”. In this sense, the word takes on a more metaphorical meaning, implying a deep reverence and loyalty towards a particular person or group