Words nearby laypeople
What does laypeople mean?
Laypeople is used in a religious context to refer to people who are regular members of a religious congregation and not members of the clergy—that is, laypeople are 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. The singular form of laypeople is layperson. In a religious context, laypeople can be collectively referred to as the laity.
The word layman specifically refers to a man, but it is often used regardless of gender. However, layperson is truly gender-neutral.
Laypeople is 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.
When someone asks for an explanation in layperson’s terms, they want it to be as simple and straightforward as possible, so that it can be understood by laypeople—nonexperts.
Example: She has built a career as a science writer by explaining complex topics in a way that is accessible to laypeople.
Where does laypeople come from?
The first records of the word laypeople come from the 1970s. The lay in laypeople is an adjective meaning “belonging to, pertaining to, or performed by the people or laity, as distinguished from the clergy.”
Lay comes from the Middle English lai, meaning “uneducated” or “not belonging to the clergy.” It ultimately comes from the Greek lāikós, meaning “of the people” (as in the common people).
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to laypeople?
- layperson (singular)
What are some synonyms for laypeople?
- the laity
- average people
What are some words that share a root or word element with laypeople?
What are some words that often get used in discussing laypeople?
How is laypeople used in real life?
Laypeople is perhaps most commonly used in non-religious contexts. It’s especially used in the discussion of how information should be presented to nonexperts.
— University of Pittsburgh (@PittTweet) January 4, 2021
It wasn’t too technical: right on the edge of being a “popular” book for laypeople (such as myself). Chapters on system dynamics, long tail distributions, Markov models, etc.
— Scott Brinker (@chiefmartec) December 30, 2020
Explainer for laypeople- in mass casualty settings, such as war zones or natural disasters, 'greatest good for greatest number' means directing health resources to those most likely to survive- the walking wounded and those responsive to simple measures.
— Rhea Liang (@LiangRhea) January 5, 2021
Try using laypeople!
Which of the following terms can be used as a synonym of laypeople?
A. average people
C. the laity
D. all of the above
How to use laypeople in a sentence
Laypeople tend to regard two successive quarters of negative growth as a recession.The U.S. Economy Had a Hiccup, Not a Heart Attack, This Year|Daniel Gross|May 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
While Nest says its products can easily be installed by laypeople, this layperson was easily stymied.
Deen may have been known to most laypeople as a television chef and cookbook author.Racism Is a Tough Sell: The Real Reason Everyone Dumped Paula Deen|Daniel Gross|June 28, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Some worry that the apparent clarity of that number will mislead laypeople.Online Mortality Calculator Could Change Health Care—and Our Views on Death|Josh Dzieza|January 15, 2012|DAILY BEAST