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laywoman

[ley-woo m-uh n]
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noun, plural lay·wom·en.
  1. a woman who is not a member of the clergy.
  2. a woman who is not a member of a given profession, as law or medicine.

Origin of laywoman

First recorded in 1520–30; lay3 + woman

Usage note

See -woman.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for laywomen

Historical Examples

  • If there had been, there would have been a term for laywomen and for clergywomen.

    Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 7.

    Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)

  • It is sheer trifling for sensible males to talk about a distinction between laymen and laywomen.

    Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 7.

    Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)


British Dictionary definitions for laywomen

laywoman

noun plural -women
  1. a woman who is not a member of the clergy
  2. a woman who does not have specialized or professional knowledge of a subjecta guide for the laywoman
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 laywomen

laywoman

n.

1520s, from lay (adj.) + woman; probably modeled on layman.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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