[ley-woo m-uh n]

noun, plural lay·wom·en.

a woman who is not a member of the clergy.
a woman who is not a member of a given profession, as law or medicine.

Origin of laywoman

First recorded in 1520–30; lay3 + woman

Usage note

See -woman. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for laywomen

Historical Examples of laywomen

British Dictionary definitions for laywomen


noun plural -women

a woman who is not a member of the clergy
a woman who does not have specialized or professional knowledge of a subjecta guide for the laywoman
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 laywomen



1520s, from lay (adj.) + woman; probably modeled on layman.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper