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90s Slang You Should Know

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.
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Examples from the Web for holy orders
Historical Examples
  • Brethren, you are now members of the holy orders of God's priesthood.

  • His black cassock and scarf showed him to be in holy orders.

    The Maidens' Lodge Emily Sarah Holt
  • I have confessed to the Reverend Mr. Carew as I would confess to a priest in holy orders.

    The Dark Star Robert W. Chambers
  • Hamilton was merely titular Abbot of Ferne, and was not in holy orders.

  • They do not say that a young man is studying for the ministry, but that he is reading for holy orders.

    The American Language Henry L. Mencken
  • His response caused the candidate for holy orders to open his eyes to the widest.

    The Tiger Hunter Mayne Reid
  • August 31, 1820, a law organizing the national army exempted from service only such clerics as were actually in holy orders.

  • There can hardly be two persons of that name, both in holy orders.

    The Lady of Lynn Walter Besant
  • You, sir, are a plain priest in holy orders, and it's conceivable that on some point of use or doctrine you may be in error.

    Brother Copas Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • 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
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