clergy

noun

cler·​gy ˈklər-jē How to pronounce clergy (audio)
plural clergies
1
: a group ordained to perform pastoral or sacerdotal functions in a Christian church
Members of the clergy have been invited to participate in an interfaith service.
2
: the official or sacerdotal class of a non-Christian religion
Buddhist clergy

Example Sentences

Local clergy have been invited to participate in an interfaith service. a member of the clergy
Recent Examples on the Web The clergy and faith leader initiative has generated about 250 reports from across the state, according to a spokesperson for the department. Laura Schulte, Journal Sentinel, 31 Jan. 2023 Heads of state and royalty, clergy from around the world and thousands of regular people flocked to the ceremony, despite Benedict’s requests for simplicity and official efforts to keep the first funeral for an pope emeritus in modern times low-key. Nicole Fallert, USA TODAY, 5 Jan. 2023 Heads of state and royalty, clergy from around the world and thousands of regular people flocked to the ceremony, despite Benedict’s requests for simplicity and official efforts to keep the first funeral for an pope emeritus in modern times low-key. Nicole Winfield, BostonGlobe.com, 5 Jan. 2023 Heads of state and royalty, clergy from around the world and thousands of regular people flocked to the ceremony, despite Benedict’s request for simplicity and official efforts to keep the first funeral for an pope emeritus in modern times low-key. Nicole Winfield, Chicago Tribune, 5 Jan. 2023 Heads of state and royalty, clergy from around the world and thousands of regular people flocked to the ceremony, despite Benedict’s request for simplicity and official efforts to keep the first funeral for a pope emeritus in modern times low-key. Nicole Winfield, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Jan. 2023 The program creates a partnership between law enforcement, local clergy and nonprofits. Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 Dec. 2022 Social workers, nutritionists, ordained clergy and people in other nonmedical occupations are also eligible to apply. Danica Jefferies, NBC News, 26 Dec. 2022 It’s not a pretty story, but it’s also a biting satire on the corrupt establishment — clergy and police as well as landowners. Dallas News, 21 Oct. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clergy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English clergie, from Anglo-French, from clerc clergyman

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of clergy was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near clergy

Cite this Entry

“Clergy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clergy. Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

clergy

noun
cler·​gy ˈklər-jē How to pronounce clergy (audio)
plural clergies
: the group of religious officials (as priests, ministers, or rabbis) specially prepared and authorized to conduct religious services

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