Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

layman

[ley-muh n] /ˈleɪ mən/
noun, plural laymen.
1.
a person who is not a member of the clergy; one of the laity.
2.
a person who is not a member of a given profession, as law or medicine.
Origin of layman
1150-1200
Middle English word dating back to 1150-1200; See origin at lay3, man1
Usage note
See -man.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for layman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Was the gentleman” (he chose that word as he looked at the boys) “layman or clerk?

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • Is she a layman in the sense of that word in the Discipline?

    Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 7. Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)
  • But he is wrong when he denies to her a right to a seat in this body as a layman.

    Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 7. Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)
  • As an acolyte, after all, he rated just barely above a layman; he had no powers whatever.

    Pagan Passions Gordon Randall Garrett
  • He had a friend, a layman, who was a good man, belonged to the Army.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • Of course, it is difficult for a layman to form an opinion when experts differ.

    No Animal Food Rupert H. Wheldon
  • This book is written in terms that are comprehensible to the layman.

British Dictionary definitions for layman

layman

/ˈleɪmən/
noun (pl) -men
1.
a man who is not a member of the clergy
2.
a person who does not have specialized or professional knowledge of a subject: science for the layman
Gender-neutral form layperson
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 Origin and History for layman
n.

"non-cleric," early 15c., from lay (adj.) + man (n.). Meaning "outsider, non-expert" (especially in regards to law or medicine) is from late 15c. Related: Laymen.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for layman

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for layman

11
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for layman