Clergy
Clergy Cler"gy, n. [OE. clergie, clergi, clerge, OF. clergie, F. clergie (fr. clerc clerc, fr. L. clericus priest) confused with OF. clergi['e], F. clerg['e], fr. LL. clericatus office of priest, monastic life, fr. L. clericus priest, LL. scholar, clerc. Both the Old French words meant clergy, in sense 1, the former having also sense 2. See {Clerk}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The body of men set apart, by due ordination, to the service of God, in the Christian church, in distinction from the laity; in England, usually restricted to the ministers of the Established Church. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

2. Learning; also, a learned profession. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Sophictry . . . rhetoric, and other cleargy. --Guy of Warwick. [1913 Webster]

Put their second sons to learn some clergy. --State Papers (1515). [1913 Webster]

3. The privilege or benefit of clergy. [1913 Webster]

If convicted of a clergyable felony, he is entitled equally to his clergy after as before conviction. --Blackstone. [1913 Webster]

{Benefit of clergy} (Eng., Law), the exemption of the persons of clergymen from criminal process before a secular judge -- a privilege which was extended to all who could read, such persons being, in the eye of the law, clerici, or clerks. This privilege was abridged and modified by various statutes, and finally abolished in the reign of George IV. (1827).

{Regular clergy}, {Secular clergy} See {Regular}, n., and {Secular}, a. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:
, , , (in distinction from the laity)


Look at other dictionaries:

  • clergy — n. Religious professionals; those ordained for the ministry. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008 …   Law dictionary

  • clergy — c.1200, clergie office or dignity of a clergyman, from two Old French words: 1. clergié clerics, learned men, from M.L. clericatus, from L.L. clericus (see CLERK (Cf. clerk)); 2. clergie learning, knowledge, erudition, from clerc, also from L.L.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • clergy — [n] ministry of church canonicate, canonry, cardinalate, churchpersons, clerics, conclave, deaconry, diaconate, ecclesiastics, first estate, holy order, pastorate, prelacy, priesthood, rabbinate, the cloth, the desk, the pulpit; concept 369 …   New thesaurus

  • clergy — ► NOUN (pl. clergies) (usu. treated as pl. ) ▪ the body of people ordained for religious duties in the Christian Church. ORIGIN Latin clericus cleric, clergyman …   English terms dictionary

  • clergy — [klʉr′jē] n. pl. clergies [ME clergie, office or dignity of a clergyman < OFr < LL(Ec) clericus: see CLERK] persons ordained for religious service; ministers, priests, rabbis, etc., collectively …   English World dictionary

  • Clergy — (left to right) George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury (1991–2002), Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi (UK), Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti of Bosnia, Jim Wallis, Sojourners, USA. 2009 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Cleric redirects here. For… …   Wikipedia

  • clergy — clergylike, adj. /klerr jee/, n., pl. clergies. the group or body of ordained persons in a religion, as distinguished from the laity. [1175 1225; ME clerge, clergie < OF clergé ( < LL clericatus office of a priest; see CLERIC, ATE3), clergie,… …   Universalium

  • clergy — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Religious personnel Nouns 1. (body of clergy) clergy, ministry, priesthood, rabbinate, abbacy, ulema, imamate; the cloth, Roman collar. See religion, worship. 2. (member of the clergy) clergyman or woman …   English dictionary for students

  • Clergy — (Roget s Thesaurus) < N PARAG:Clergy >N GRP: N 1 Sgm: N 1 clergy clergy clericals ministry priesthood presbytery the cloth the desk GRP: N 2 Sgm: N 2 clergyman clergyman divine ecclesiastic church …   English dictionary for students

  • clergy */*/ — UK [ˈklɜː(r)dʒɪ] / US [ˈklɜrdʒɪ] noun [plural] Word forms clergy : singular clergy plural clergies the people who lead religious services, especially Christian priests. A man who leads religious services is sometimes called a clergyman and a… …   English dictionary

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