[kler-i-kuh l]
  1. of, pertaining to, appropriate for, or assigned to an office clerk or clerks: a clerical job.
  2. doing the work of a clerk or clerks: a clerical assistant; a clerical staff.
  3. of, relating to, or characteristic of the clergy or a member of the clergy: clerical garb.
  4. advocating the power or influence of the clergy in politics, government, etc.: a clerical party.
  1. a cleric.
  2. clericals, Informal. clerical garments.
  3. a person or a party advocating the power or influence of the church in politics, government, etc.
  4. a person who does clerical work; office worker; clerk.
  5. Also called clerical error. a minor error, as in the keeping of records, the transcribing of documents, or the handling of correspondence.

Origin of clerical

1425–75 for sense “learned”; 1585–95 for def 3; late Middle English < Late Latin clēricālis, equivalent to clēric(us) cleric + -ālis -al1
Related formscler·i·cal·i·ty, nouncler·i·cal·ly, adverbin·ter·cler·i·cal, adjectivenon·cler·i·cal, adjective, nounnon·cler·i·cal·ly, adverbpre·cler·i·cal, adjectivepro·cler·i·cal, adjectivepseu·do·cler·i·cal, adjectivepseu·do·cler·i·cal·ly, adverbqua·si-cler·i·cal, adjectivequa·si-cler·i·cal·ly, adverbsem·i·cler·i·cal, adjectivesem·i·cler·i·cal·ly, adverbun·cler·i·cal, adjectiveun·cler·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for non-clerical

Historical Examples of non-clerical

British Dictionary definitions for non-clerical


  1. relating to or associated with the clergyclerical dress
  2. of or relating to office clerks or their worka clerical error
  3. supporting or advocating clericalism
Derived Formsclerically, adverb
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 non-clerical



1590s, "pertaining to the clergy," from cleric + -al (1), or from French clérical, from Old French clerigal "learned," from Latin clericalis, from clericus (see cleric). Meaning "pertaining to clerks" is from 1798.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper