cler·​ic ˈkler-ik How to pronounce cleric (audio)
: a member of the clergy

Examples of cleric in a Sentence

clerics were sharply divided on the issue of whether the war was morally justified
Recent Examples on the Web There were varying reactions from others who knew of Raisi's reputation as a hardline cleric. Suzanne Nuyen, NPR, 20 May 2024 Raisi, an ultraconservative cleric in his 60s who won a presidential election in 2021, had been seen as a favorite to succeed Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader and who’s in his 80s. Arsalan Shahla, Fortune, 20 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for cleric 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cleric.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Late Latin clericus

First Known Use

1621, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cleric was in 1621

Dictionary Entries Near cleric

Cite this Entry

“Cleric.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


cler·​ic ˈkler-ik How to pronounce cleric (audio)
: a member of the clergy

More from Merriam-Webster on cleric

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!