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usage note for layperson
Words nearby layperson
What does layperson mean?
Layperson is used in a religious context to refer to a person who is a regular member of a religious congregation and not a member of the clergy—that is, a layperson is someone who is not a religious official like a priest.
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 plural of layperson is laypeople. 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.
Layperson is perhaps even more commonly used outside of a religious context to refer to a person who is not a member of a particular profession or who is not an expert in or knowledgeable about a particular field. The phrase layperson’s terms means 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 a layperson—a nonexpert. The phrase layman’s terms means the same thing and is more commonly used.
Example: She has built a career as a science writer by explaining complex topics in a way that is accessible to the layperson.
Where does layperson come from?
The first records of the word layperson come from the 1970s. The lay in layperson 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).
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What are some other forms related to layperson?
- laypeople (plural)
What are some synonyms for layperson?
- member of the laity
- average person
What are some words that share a root or word element with layperson?
What are some words that often get used in discussing layperson?
How is layperson used in real life?
Layperson is perhaps most commonly used in non-religious contexts. It’s sometimes used in the phrase layperson’s terms (though layman’s terms is more common).
Quite a nice summary of how #bias enters #AI, probably for the layperson rather than the specialist though! Eliminating bias in AI is no easy feat, but fixes do exist https://t.co/HLdGfdaP7H pic.twitter.com/wgGt09e72D
— umbrelladata (@umbrelladata) July 23, 2019
It’s been five days since starting IM and my senior resident’s consistent praise for me is that I’m good at explaining things to patients in layperson’s terms. Ma’am, don’t be fooled, I am a layperson in scrubs.
— Jillian Millares (@JilllMilll) September 5, 2020
Let’s make this the year to normalise “I don’t know”.
Scientific issues? As a layperson, I don’t know.
Work expertise? I don’t know, but she does – ask her?
Complex social policy? You don’t need my knee jerk reaction, I’m going to have to read more, because I DON’T KNOW.
— Beth Murray (@bmbm) January 2, 2021
Try using layperson!
Which of the following terms can be used as a synonym of layperson?
A. average person
C. member of the laity
D. all of the above
Example sentences from the Web for layperson
Here’s a layperson’s look at the states and laws that may determine the outcome.
This is a pretty tricky query, and we get lots of webpages that talk about UV glass and how you need a special film, but none of this really helps the layperson take action.How Google indexes passages of a page and what it means for SEO|Barry Schwartz|October 15, 2020|Search Engine Land
In addition, the average layperson in this time period was well versed in theology.
My talent is being able to synthesize this information to become understandable to myself and then therefore to the layperson.Suzanne Somers Responds To Critics, Says She Has A Thick Skin|Brandy Zadrozny|October 30, 2013|DAILY BEAST
While Nest says its products can easily be installed by laypeople, this layperson was easily stymied.
That phrase you just used—“the joy of science”—for the layperson, that may be a contradiction in terms.Stuart Firestein, Author of ‘Ignorance,’ Says Not Knowing Is the Key to Science|Casey Schwartz|April 22, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Suzy Welch writes, “This is the book for a savvy layperson interested in exploring business today.”