[ ley-i-tee ]
See synonyms for laity on
  1. the body of religious worshipers, as distinguished from the clergy.

  2. the people outside of a particular profession, as distinguished from those belonging to it: the medical ignorance of the laity.

Origin of laity

First recorded in 1535–45; lay3 + -ity

Words Nearby laity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use laity in a sentence

  • Many ex-members I spoke with felt like financial matters were off limits from the laity.

    Another Mega Church Implodes | Warren Throckmorton | September 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • The nuns were forbidden to visit the laity in Romsey, and other like ordinances were enjoined.

  • The magistrates and the laity insisted that the clergy must bear their share of the common burden.

    Belgium | George W. T. (George William Thomson) Omond
  • The laity are awaking to the fact that priests are strenuously endeavouring to quench the light of reason in the fogs of faith.

  • This answer would be exhaustive, if it were the fact that the laity made the law for the theologians.

British Dictionary definitions for laity


/ (ˈleɪɪtɪ) /

  1. laymen, as distinguished from clergymen

  2. all people not of a specific occupation

Origin of laity

C16: from lay ³

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