[ ley-pur-suh n ]
/ ˈleɪˌpɜr sən /


a person who is not a member of the clergy; one of the laity.
a person who is not a member of a given profession, as law or medicine.

Origin of layperson

First recorded in 1970–75; lay(man) + -person

Usage note

See -person.

Definition for lay person (2 of 2)


[ ley-pee-puh l ]
/ ˈleɪˌpi pəl /

plural noun

laymen and laywomen collectively. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for lay person

lay person


noun plural lay persons, lay people, laypersons or laypeople

a person who is not a member of the clergy
a person who does not have specialized or professional knowledge of a subjecta lay person's guide to conveyancing
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 lay person



1972, gender-neutral version of layman.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper