Meanings

1.
deputy, acting
(As an adjective for a person standing in for someone else - like "stellvertredender Leiter")
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2.
by proxy, in place of, representing
(In a sense of representing. Think of a speaker of the office, for instance who demands something speaking for the whole team.)
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Word Family

Root: *der-

This root is not 100% certain (in a a sense that etymologists feel like they don’t have enough evidence to call it a a certain “thing”), but the core idea of it would be:

walking, making steps

And it’s the origin of English to tread, trap and trip.

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