Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang

holy orders

(used with a singular verb) the rite or sacrament of ordination.
(used with a singular verb) the rank or status of an ordained Christian minister.
(used with a plural verb) the major degrees or grades of the Christian ministry.
Origin of holy orders
Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for holy orders
Historical Examples
  • Your uncle Malcolm took high honours, and entered into holy orders.

    The Grateful Indian W.H.G. Kingston
  • But what priest should ever have wedded a Sister to man training for holy orders?

    In Convent Walls Emily Sarah Holt
  • His black cassock and scarf showed him to be in holy orders.

    The Maidens' Lodge Emily Sarah Holt
  • Hamilton was merely titular Abbot of Ferne, and was not in holy orders.

  • With the rector, as with too many others, holy orders were but a means to an end.

    Richard Carvel, Complete Winston Churchill
  • His response caused the candidate for holy orders to open his eyes to the widest.

    The Tiger Hunter Mayne Reid
  • I was on my way to the University, to enter into holy orders.

    The Tiger Hunter Mayne Reid
  • There can hardly be two persons of that name, both in holy orders.

    The Lady of Lynn

    Walter Besant
  • Brethren, you are now members of the holy orders of God's priesthood.

  • We are not like an unfortunate clerk in "holy orders," who can be silenced by law.

British Dictionary definitions for holy orders

holy orders

plural noun
the sacrament or rite whereby a person is admitted to the Christian ministry
the grades of the Christian ministry
the rank or status of an ordained Christian minister
See also orders
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for holy orders

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for holy

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for holy orders