[ klur-jee ]
/ ˈklɜr dʒi /

noun, plural cler·gies.

the group or body of ordained persons in a religion, as distinguished from the laity.

Origin of clergy

1175–1225; Middle English clerge, clergie < Old French clergé (< Late Latin clericātus office of a priest; see cleric, -ate3), clergie, equivalent to clerc cleric + -ie -y3, with -g- after clergé

Related forms

cler·gy·like, adjectivean·ti·cler·gy, adjectivepro·cler·gy, adjective

Can be confused

clergy cleric imam minister pastor priest rabbi

Usage note Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clergy

British Dictionary definitions for clergy


/ (ˈklɜːdʒɪ) /

noun plural -gies

the collective body of men and women ordained as religious ministers, esp of the Christian ChurchRelated adjectives: clerical, pastoral

Word Origin for clergy

C13: from Old French clergie, from clerc ecclesiastic, clerk
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