Meaning of deponent in English:


Pronunciation /dɪˈpəʊnənt/

See synonyms for deponent on

Translate deponent into Spanish


  • (of a verb, especially in Latin or Greek) passive or middle in form but active in meaning.

    ‘It is a misnomer to classify this as a deponent verb; the middle force of the verb is not absent.’
    • ‘Typical is Wenham: ‘A deponent verb is one which is Middle or Passive in form, but Active in meaning.’’
    • ‘He argues that in light of recent discussion we can do a better job of classifying deponent forms and understanding them than we have in the past.’


  • 1Grammar
    A deponent verb.

    ‘Just because an active form doesn't exist in the relatively small corpus of the New Testament, this is no reason to deem a verb deponent.’
    • ‘When one examines the ‘passive deponent’ verbs in question, they are a subset of the eighty-five-plus verbs that we have argued are true middles, not deponents.’
    • ‘Mounce gives the figure of approximately seventy-five percent of the middle forms in the NT should be classified as deponent.’
    attestor, testifier
  • 2Law
    A person who makes a deposition or affidavit under oath.

    ‘I understand from the affidavits that the various deponents have inconvenienced themselves by coming to the Court today.’
    • ‘The deponents to these affidavits state that they have suffered injuries which were not fully compensated for under the prior settlements.’
    • ‘You are the deponent of the affidavit which you have provided to the Court Registry in support of the application?’
    • ‘The adoption of such a test would sometimes require the trial of an issue or at least cross-examination of deponents to affidavits.’
    • ‘If that is what the deponent of this affidavit wants to say, I want to cross-examine him.’


Late Middle English from Latin deponent- ‘laying aside, putting down’ (in medieval Latin ‘testifying’), from the verb deponere, from de- ‘down’ + ponere ‘place’. The use in grammar arose from the notion that the verb had ‘laid aside’ the passive sense (although in fact these verbs were originally reflexive).