cler·​ic | \ˈkler-ik, ˈkle-rik\

Definition of cleric 

: a member of the clergy

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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

Turkish news outlets reported that the mosque was a terrorist organization with links to the Islamist cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for a coup attempt in 2016 against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. New York Times, "By Taking a Bullet, a Muslim Woman Finds Her Calling," 22 June 2018 Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the foul-mouthed cleric who leads the TLP, hails Taseer’s murderer, who was executed two years ago, as a martyr and calls for all blasphemers to be killed. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "Will Pakistan Execute a 53-Year-Old Woman for Being Christian?," 18 Oct. 2018 Among those in [bin Salman’s] prisons for political speech are clerics, bloggers, journalists, and activists. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "Journalist Jamal Khashoggi Has Disappeared at a Saudi Consulate in Istanbul," 18 Oct. 2018 The new letter, lost because of an egregious filing error and finally discovered at London's Royal Society, was sent by Galileo to the Roman cleric Piero Dini after the more aggressive missive caused a stir in 1615. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Newfound Galileo Letter Suggests He Lied to Dupe the Church and Avoid Persecution," 25 Sep. 2018 As the gathering wrapped up and the clerics were about to disband, another suicide bomber struck near the site, killing seven people. Washington Post, "Peace in Afghanistan more elusive as Taliban shrug off talks," 11 July 2018 The 67-year-old cleric stood down from his position as archbishop days after he was convicted. Rod Mcguirk,, "Archbishop refuses to resign as he appeals conviction for protecting pedophile," 4 July 2018 The 67-year-old cleric stood down from his position as archbishop days after he was convicted. Rod Mcguirk,, "Australia bishop appeals conviction for protecting pedophile," 4 July 2018 The firebrand Shia cleric (pictured) directed his supporters to attack the American troops who invaded Iraq in 2003. The Economist, "A cleric who once tormented America seems to have won Iraq’s election," 19 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of cleric

1621, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cleric

Late Latin clericus

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Statistics for cleric

Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for cleric

The first known use of cleric was in 1621

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English Language Learners Definition of cleric

: a member of the clergy in any religion

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More from Merriam-Webster on cleric

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cleric

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cleric

Spanish Central: Translation of cleric

Nglish: Translation of cleric for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cleric for Arabic Speakers

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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