lay brother



a man who has taken religious vows and habit but is employed by his order chiefly in manual labor.

Origin of lay brother

First recorded in 1670–80 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lay brother

Historical Examples of lay brother

  • Converse meant a lay-brother employed as a drudge in a monastery.

    The Romance of Names

    Ernest Weekley

  • Shall a lay-brother of Malvern stoop to play handy-dandy for favours?

    Long Will

    Florence Converse

  • Then I summoned the lay-brother, and said, coldly, 'Brother Nicomede is gone.'

    Historic Oddities

    Sabine Baring-Gould

  • The lay-brother said he would inquire, and showed them into the parlour.

  • Knin accepted him as a lay-brother and put him to pound rice in the bakery.

    Zen Buddhism

    Arthur Waley

British Dictionary definitions for lay brother

lay brother


a man who has taken the vows of a religious order but is not ordained and not bound to divine office
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