[ ley-i-tee ]
/ ˈleɪ ɪ ti /


the body of religious worshipers, as distinguished from the clergy.
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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for laity

British Dictionary definitions for laity


/ (ˈleɪɪtɪ) /


laymen, as distinguished from clergymen
all people not of a specific occupation

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for laity



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper