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

Related Words for laity

laymen, parish, congregation, laypeople, laywomen

Examples from the Web for laity

Contemporary Examples of laity

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

    The Daily Beast logo
    Another Mega Church Implodes

    Warren Throckmorton

    September 14, 2014

Historical Examples of laity

British Dictionary definitions for laity



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