the first of the three estates: the clergy in France; the Lords Spiritual in England.Compare estate(def 5).
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Origin of first estate
First recorded in 1930–35
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for first estate
the first of the three estates of the realm, such as the Lords Spiritual in England or the clergy in France until the revolution
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