(used with a singular verb) the rite or sacrament of ordination.
(used with a singular verb) the rank or status of an ordained Christian minister.
(used with a plural verb) the major degrees or grades of the Christian ministry.
Origin of holy orders
Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400
Words nearby holy orders
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for holy orders
the sacrament or rite whereby a person is admitted to the Christian ministry
the grades of the Christian ministry
the rank or status of an ordained Christian minister
See also orders
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