Bea"dle(), n. [OE. bedel, bidel, budel, OF. bedel, F. bedeau, fr. OHG. butil, putil, G. bttel, fr. OHG. biotan, G. bieten, to bid, confused with AS. bydel, the same word as OHG. butil. See. Bid, v.] 1. A messenger or crier of a court; a servitor; one who cites or bids persons to appear and answer; -- called also an apparitor or summoner.
2. An officer in a university, who precedes public processions of officers and students.
In this sense the archaic spellings bedel (Oxford) and bedell (Cambridge) are preserved.
3. An inferior parish officer in England having a variety of duties, as the preservation of order in church service, the chastisement of petty offenders, etc.
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Mon 15th July 2019