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clerical

[kler-i-kuh l]
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adjective
  1. of, pertaining to, appropriate for, or assigned to an office clerk or clerks: a clerical job.
  2. doing the work of a clerk or clerks: a clerical assistant; a clerical staff.
  3. of, relating to, or characteristic of the clergy or a member of the clergy: clerical garb.
  4. advocating the power or influence of the clergy in politics, government, etc.: a clerical party.
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noun
  1. a cleric.
  2. clericals, Informal. clerical garments.
  3. a person or a party advocating the power or influence of the church in politics, government, etc.
  4. a person who does clerical work; office worker; clerk.
  5. Also called clerical error. a minor error, as in the keeping of records, the transcribing of documents, or the handling of correspondence.
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Origin of clerical

1425–75 for sense “learned”; 1585–95 for def 3; late Middle English < Late Latin clēricālis, equivalent to clēric(us) cleric + -ālis -al1
Related formscler·i·cal·i·ty, nouncler·i·cal·ly, adverbin·ter·cler·i·cal, adjectivenon·cler·i·cal, adjective, nounnon·cler·i·cal·ly, adverbpre·cler·i·cal, adjectivepro·cler·i·cal, adjectivepseu·do·cler·i·cal, adjectivepseu·do·cler·i·cal·ly, adverbqua·si-cler·i·cal, adjectivequa·si-cler·i·cal·ly, adverbsem·i·cler·i·cal, adjectivesem·i·cler·i·cal·ly, adverbun·cler·i·cal, adjectiveun·cler·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for clerical

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • This General Conference was strictly a clerical organization.

    Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 7.

    Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)

  • She had never seen him in his clerical dress, so she could not have recognised him yet.

    The Missionary

    George Griffith

  • It is true that his practical experience of his clerical life was very slender.

  • "You see, they want to get married," said the man with the clerical hat.

  • "Our clerical friend does not realize the importance of his own point," he said softly.

    The Crooked House

    Brandon Fleming


British Dictionary definitions for clerical

clerical

adjective
  1. relating to or associated with the clergyclerical dress
  2. of or relating to office clerks or their worka clerical error
  3. supporting or advocating clericalism
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Derived Formsclerically, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for clerical

adj.

1590s, "pertaining to the clergy," from cleric + -al (1), or from French clérical, from Old French clerigal "learned," from Latin clericalis, from clericus (see cleric). Meaning "pertaining to clerks" is from 1798.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper