• synonyms


See more synonyms for laity on Thesaurus.com
  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.
Show More

Origin of laity

First recorded in 1535–45; lay3 + -ity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for laity

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for laity


  1. laymen, as distinguished from clergymen
  2. all people not of a specific occupation
Show More

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for laity


"body of people not in religious orders," early 15c., from Anglo-French laite, from lay (adj.) + -ity.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper