[kler-i-kuh l]



Origin of clerical

1425–75 for sense “learned”; 1585–95 for def 3; late Middle English < Late Latin clēricālis, equivalent to clēric(us) cleric + -ālis -al1
Related formscler·i·cal·i·ty, nouncler·i·cal·ly, adverbin·ter·cler·i·cal, adjectivenon·cler·i·cal, adjective, nounnon·cler·i·cal·ly, adverbpre·cler·i·cal, adjectivepro·cler·i·cal, adjectivepseu·do·cler·i·cal, adjectivepseu·do·cler·i·cal·ly, adverbqua·si-cler·i·cal, adjectivequa·si-cler·i·cal·ly, adverbsem·i·cler·i·cal, adjectivesem·i·cler·i·cal·ly, adverbun·cler·i·cal, adjectiveun·cler·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clerical

Contemporary Examples of clerical

Historical Examples of clerical

  • This General Conference was strictly a clerical organization.

    Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 7.

    Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)

  • She had never seen him in his clerical dress, so she could not have recognised him yet.

    The Missionary

    George Griffith

  • It is true that his practical experience of his clerical life was very slender.

  • "You see, they want to get married," said the man with the clerical hat.

  • "Our clerical friend does not realize the importance of his own point," he said softly.

    The Crooked House

    Brandon Fleming

British Dictionary definitions for clerical



relating to or associated with the clergyclerical dress
of or relating to office clerks or their worka clerical error
supporting or advocating clericalism
Derived Formsclerically, adverb
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 clerical

1590s, "pertaining to the clergy," from cleric + -al (1), or from French clérical, from Old French clerigal "learned," from Latin clericalis, from clericus (see cleric). Meaning "pertaining to clerks" is from 1798.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper