[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 clericals

Historical Examples of clericals

British Dictionary definitions for clericals


pl n

the distinctive dress of a member of the clergy



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 clericals



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