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holy orders

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noun
  1. (used with a singular verb) the rite or sacrament of ordination.
  2. (used with a singular verb) the rank or status of an ordained Christian minister.
  3. (used with a plural verb) the major degrees or grades of the Christian ministry.
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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. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for holy orders

holy orders

pl n
  1. the sacrament or rite whereby a person is admitted to the Christian ministry
  2. the grades of the Christian ministry
  3. the rank or status of an ordained Christian minister
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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