superintendent 1550s, originally an ecclesiastical word meaning "bishop" or "minister who supervises churches within a district" (a loan-translation of Gk. episkopos "overseer"), from M.L. superintendentem (nom. superintendens), from prp. of L.L. superintendere "oversee," from L. super "above" (see SUPER- (Cf. super-)) + intendere "turn one's attention, direct" (see INTEND (Cf. intend)). Famously used by 16c. radical Protestants in place of bishop, which was to them tainted by Papacy.
[Martinists] studie to pull downe Bishopps, and set vp Superintendents, which is nothing else, but to raze out good Greeke, & enterline bad Latine. [Lyly, "Pappe with an Hatchet," 1589]
The general sense of "a person who has charge of some business" is first recorded 1580s. Meaning "janitor, custodian" is from c.1935. Shortened form super first attested 1857, especially at first of overseers of sheep ranches in Australia.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • superintendent — su‧per‧in‧tend‧ent [ˌsuːpərɪnˈtendənt] noun [countable] JOBS someone who is officially in charge of a place or area of work: • Things got worse when the superintendent left to start a competing business. * * * superintendent UK US… …   Financial and business terms

  • Superintendent — may refer to:*Superintendent (ecclesiastical), a church executive performing the duties of a bishop *Superintendent (education), an education executive or administrator *Superintendent (police), a police rank *Superintendent (United States Air… …   Wikipedia

  • superintendent — SUPERINTENDÉNT, superintendenţi, s.m. (În Biserica evanghelică) 1. Preot care supraveghează o eforie. 2. Episcop. – Din germ. Superintendent. Trimis de claudia, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  SUPERINTENDÉNT s.m. (În biserica evanghelică) 1. Preot… …   Dicționar Român

  • Superintendent — Su per*in*tend ent, n. [Cf. OF. superintendant, F. surintendant. Cf. {Surintendant}.] One who has the oversight and charge of some place, institution, or organization, affairs, etc., with the power of direction; as, the superintendent of an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • superintendent — su·per·in·ten·dent n: one who has the oversight and charge of a place, institution, department, organization, or operation; specif: the executive head of a police department Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996.… …   Law dictionary

  • Superintendent — Su per*in*tend ent, a. [L. superintendens, p. pr. See {Superintend}.] Overseeing; superintending. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Superintendent — (v. lat.), schon in der Katholischen Kirche obere Geistliche, welche die Aussicht über die Geistlichen einer Diöcese hatten, unter dem Bischof standen u. in andern Gegenden auch Decane od. Dechanten hießen. Diese Würde ging auch in die… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Superintendént — (lat.), Oberaufseher, Inspektor; besonders in evangelischen Landeskirchen der erste Geistliche einer Ephorie, der Wirksamkeit und Wandel der Geistlichen sowie die Verwaltung der Kirchenärare etc. zu überwachen hat. Über sämtlichen… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Superintendent — (lat., »Oberaufseher«), in evang. Ländern derjenige Geistliche, der als Organ des Kirchenregiments die kirchliche Aufsicht (Kirchenvisitationen) über einen Bezirk (Ephorie) zu führen hat; auch Dekan, Propst, Präpositus, Ephorus genannt. Über den… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Superintendent — Superintendent, früher Superattendent, in mehren prot. Ländern der zwischen Pfarrer und Consistorium stehende geistliche Beamte, dem kath. Dekan entsprechend …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Superintendent — Superintendent,der(evang.Kirche):Dekan(süddt)+Propst …   Das Wörterbuch der Synonyme

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