holy orders


(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.

Nearby words

  1. holy mysteries,
  2. holy of holies,
  3. holy office,
  4. holy oil,
  5. holy one,
  6. holy place,
  7. holy roller,
  8. holy roman empire,
  9. holy rood,
  10. holy sacrament

Origin of holy orders

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400

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

British Dictionary definitions for holy orders

holy orders

pl n

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