Definition of laity
Words nearby laity
MORE ABOUT LAITY
What does laity mean?
Laity is used in a religious context to collectively refer to the group of people who are regular members of a religious congregation and not members of the clergy—that is, people who are not religious officials like priests.
The term clergy collectively refers to people who have been ordained or otherwise serve as religious leaders or officials, such as priests, rabbis, and nuns.
Laity is a noun form of the adjective lay, which means belonging to, pertaining to, or performed by the people or laity, as distinguished from the clergy.
Members of the laity can be called laypeople. The singular form of laypeople is layperson. The gender-specific terms layman and laywoman are also used, though layman is often used regardless of gender.
Terms like layman, layperson, and laypeople are perhaps even more commonly used outside of a religious context to refer to people who are not members of a particular profession or who are not experts in or knowledgeable about a particular field. The related phrases layman’s terms and layperson’s terms refer to plain language that the average person can understand, as opposed to technical jargon that can only be understood by experts in the topic or those who are already familiar with it. However, laity is not usually used in this sense.
Example: People tend to associate the church with priests, but the truth is that the biggest part of the church is the laity.
Where does laity come from?
The first records of the word laity come from around 1540. The suffix -ity is used to form nouns indicating a state or condition. Laity and lay come from the Middle English lai, meaning “uneducated” or “not belonging to the clergy.” They ultimately come from the Greek lāikós, meaning “of the people” (as in the common people).
In many religions, such as Christianity, a person who is considered part of the laity cannot perform certain ceremonies or functions that are reserved for members of the clergy. However, laypeople often do have certain official responsibilities and roles that they serve within a congregation.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to laity?
- layperson (singular)
What are some synonyms for laity?
What are some words that share a root or word element with laity?
What are some words that often get used in discussing laity?
How is laity used in real life?
Laity is used in religious contexts. It’s especially used to distinguish between the clergy and regular members of a congregation.
Anyone who guides the life of a congregation, be they clergy or laity, will find the book “Church Leadership: Vision, Team, Culture, Integrity” by Lovett Weems to be an indispensable tool with which to follow their calling to be a church leader. https://t.co/uccEYxFfhp pic.twitter.com/7GxokOZy77
— Lewis Center at WTS (@LewisLeadership) December 31, 2020
Dear members of the laity… How deeply I thank you and how I enjoy working with you. Archbishop Lori… #Archdiocese 225
— mark pacione (@MarkPacione) November 2, 2014
— GCORR (@GCORR_UMC) December 31, 2020
Try using laity!
Is laity used correctly in the following sentence?
The ceremony can only be performed by a priest or another member of the laity, such as a deacon.
How to use laity in a sentence
Many ex-members I spoke with felt like financial matters were off limits from the laity.
The nuns were forbidden to visit the laity in Romsey, and other like ordinances were enjoined.Bell's Cathedrals: A Short Account of Romsey Abbey|Thomas Perkins
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.
Formamint Tablets are widely advertised and extravagantly exploited to the laity in Great Britain.