Meaning of apostle in English:


Pronunciation /əˈpɒs(ə)l/

See synonyms for apostle

Translate apostle into Spanish


  • 1

    (also Apostle)
    Each of the twelve chief disciples of Jesus Christ.

    ‘This is evident in the lives of the prophets, John the Baptist, the Apostles and the Lord Jesus Christ himself.’
    • ‘At the last supper, Jesus Christ tells the Apostles: ‘Now I'm going to turn the water into wine.’’
    • ‘Christ, the Virgin Mary, the Apostles, saints, angels and religious events are depicted.’
    • ‘The original twelve Apostles had all known Jesus in the flesh on earth, and had seen him in the flesh after his resurrection.’
    • ‘But this is on the condition, and only on the condition, that we are walking in the light of His will, keeping the commandments of Christ and His Apostles.’
    • ‘The Bible claims to be a reliable historical record and this history from the very beginning was attested to by Christ and the Apostles.’
    • ‘Did the church, prior to the death of the last Apostle come to possess ‘all the truth’?’
    • ‘Bishops today are thought to be the successors of the Apostles.’
    • ‘After capitulating before a vicious reign of terror, the Apostle confesses to Mary and promptly rounds a corner on his way to becoming a rock of the Church.’
    • ‘Someone is working their way through the twelve Apostles.’
    • ‘Shortly after Jesus ascended to heaven, he made a promise to the Apostles we read in Acts 1: 8.’
    • ‘His martyrdom is the first - and only one - among the Apostles to be recorded in Scripture.’
    • ‘He taught that the Church had become corrupt from the very beginning, and that the Apostles had failed to carry out the Lord's commission.’
    • ‘He compares each of Francis's early companions to one of the twelve Apostles.’
    • ‘The Apostles of the Lamb had little to say about Hell or Heaven.’
    • ‘Eighteen ornate towers represent the Apostles, Evangelists, Jesus and Mary.’
    • ‘Their assigned roles as Christ, Apostles and Mary Magdalene, begin to affect their daily lives.’
    1. 1.1An important early Christian teacher or pioneering missionary.
      ‘Kiril and Metodije, the apostles of the Slavs’
      • ‘Those who represent the Pentecostal movement say that missionaries function as apostles.’
      • ‘We reject and condemn these errors and all others that contradict and contravene the above doctrine as being contrary to the pure Word of God, the writings of the holy prophets and apostles, and our Christian Creed and Confession.’
      • ‘According to tradition, in the first century the apostle Thomas evangelized the region on his way to India.’
      • ‘He had to come and defend his teaching as an apostle of Jesus Christ among those churches.’
      • ‘She, too, felt multiple calls; indeed, she felt all calls at once: ‘I feel the vocation of the warrior, the priest, the apostle, the doctor, the martyr,’ she wrote.’
      • ‘In the apostolic era many women are mentioned as apostles, leaders of house churches, prophets, deacons, and so on.’
      • ‘The apostles and teachers of the church are entrusted with these tasks, and so to them Catholics should look first for guidance about how they are to live their lives.’
      • ‘The apostles (‘sent ones’ / missionaries) were people who cared.’
      • ‘And so, because these early apostles were open to the Spirit, Christianity came to Europe.’
      • ‘Then there was the missionary apostle represented by Paul.’
      • ‘So the apostle unveils Christ as Lord and unlocks the truth of Scripture, and lives a credible godly life in his ministry.’
      • ‘We're still feeling the fallout from the last time we got all excited about an archaeological link to the early apostles.’
      missionary, evangelist, evangelical, proselytizer, spreader of the faith, spreader of the word, preacher, teacher
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    2. 1.2A vigorous and pioneering advocate or supporter of a particular policy, idea, or cause.
      ‘a man once known as the apostle of free-market economics’
      • ‘While the idea of human improvement may be implicit in notions of renaissance, he was anything but an apostle of the idea of progress.’
      • ‘It is not fashionable these days, in a world in which the apostles of the free market hold sway, to cite Karl Marx, who has long since been demonized in the cathedrals of capitalism.’
      • ‘In an age of cinema that favours familiarity, remake and rehash, this director remains one of the few remaining apostles of the pioneer spirit.’
      • ‘Worldwide, however, the paradox of his life and works persists as even the most stringent apostles of musical progress champion his music for its harmonic invention.’
      • ‘Again, totalitarianism has an almost irresistible allure - it moves people - by reason of the emotional and essentially religious spirit which its leading apostles have infused into it.’
      • ‘Even the apostles of the free market believe that our impact on nature has increased dramatically in the twentieth century (they just think it does not matter).’
      • ‘That is the point of his often quoted dictum: ‘The men of culture are the true apostles of equality.’’
      • ‘Greek and Latin signified far more than our modern apostles of ‘relevance’ will allow.’
      • ‘It suggests that the apostles of understanding are caught between two places.’
      • ‘He said the incident should be an eye opener to the apostles of democracy.’
      • ‘One was an apostle of selfless love; the other presided over the Me Decade.’
      • ‘He was an saintly apostle of peace, love and unity and a great poet.’
      • ‘You were an apostle of peace and an advocate of humanity and human dignity.’
      • ‘The apostles of the New Economy declared the irrelevance of everything invented before the Internet, and of any skills other than their own.’
      • ‘We Americans are apostles of the Fast World, the prophets of the free market and high priest of high tech.’
      • ‘Some readers think he's a demonic force for mediocrity, others believe he's an apostle of decent design for the masses.’
      • ‘In order to rise to power, the shrewd chieftain of the Fascists did not hesitate to play the role of the apostle of free enterprise, advocating the immediate dismantling of all forms of wartime planning of economic activities.’
      • ‘The yuppie apostles of the ‘new economy’ will also be humbled by a plunging stock market.’
      • ‘We no longer have to take the apostles of the new economy the least bit seriously.’
      advocate, apologist, proponent, exponent, promoter, propagandist, spokesperson, spokesman, spokeswoman, supporter, upholder, champion
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    3. 1.3One of the twelve administrative officers in a Church of the Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

The twelve Apostles were Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (the Less), Judas (or Thaddaeus), Simon, and Judas Iscariot. After the suicide of Judas Iscariot his place was taken by Matthias


Old English apostol, via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek apostolos ‘messenger’, from apostellein ‘send forth’.