I. noun 1.
(Brit.) a ceremonial officer of a church, college, or similar institution.
(Scottish) a church officer attending on the minister.
‹historical› a minor parish officer dealing with petty offenders.
– origin Old English bydel ‘a person who makes a proclamation’, gradually superseded in Middle English by forms from Old French bedel, ultimately of Germanic origin; related to German Büttel, also to bid1. Compare with bedel.