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clergy

[klur-jee] /ˈklɜr dʒi/
noun, plural clergies.
1.
the group or body of ordained persons in a religion, as distinguished from the laity.
Origin of clergy
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English clerge, clergie < Old French clergé (< Late Latin clericātus office of a priest; see cleric, -ate3), clergie, equivalent to clerc cleric + -ie -y3, with -g- after clergé
Related forms
clergylike, adjective
anticlergy, adjective
proclergy, adjective
Can be confused
Usage note
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for clergy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There are many uneducated preachers who move the classes the clergy cannot touch.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • The treating of bishops and clergy is often noticed in the accounts.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • I am, myself, as great an enemy to the luxury and splendour of the clergy as he can be.

    Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 Henry Fielding
  • Well would it be if all the clergy were as sweet-tempered as that Bishop of Helstonleigh!

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • The Prefect of the Department, the Bishop, the clergy, objected to her story.

British Dictionary definitions for clergy

clergy

/ˈklɜːdʒɪ/
noun (pl) -gies
1.
the collective body of men and women ordained as religious ministers, esp of the Christian Church related adjectives clerical pastoral
Word Origin
C13: from Old French clergie, from clerc ecclesiastic, clerk
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for clergy
n.

c.1200, clergie "office or dignity of a clergyman," from two Old French words: 1. clergié "clerics, learned men," from Medieval Latin clericatus, from Late Latin clericus (see clerk); 2. clergie "learning, knowledge, erudition," from clerc, also from Late Latin clericus. Meaning "persons ordained for religious work" is from c.1300.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for clergy

12
14
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