- the body of religious worshipers, as distinguished from the clergy.
- the people outside of a particular profession, as distinguished from those belonging to it: the medical ignorance of the laity.
Origin of laity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for laity
Many ex-members I spoke with felt like financial matters were off limits from the laity.Another Mega Church Implodes
September 14, 2014
He is a leading member of the Roman Catholic laity in England.
They are the priests of a religion, and can never descend to the charges of the laity.Gerald Fitzgerald
Charles James Lever
And as for your Latin service, what are we of the laity the better for it?Fox's Book of Martyrs
The laity had no ambition to take upon themselves the burdens of the clergy.The Reign of Mary Tudor
W. Llewelyn Williams.
There were magistrates and courts of law for the offences of the laity.Short Studies on Great Subjects
James Anthony Froude
- laymen, as distinguished from clergymen
- all people not of a specific occupation
C16: from lay ³
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 laity
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper