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cler·​i·​cal ˈkler-i-kəl How to pronounce clerical (audio)
: of, relating to, or characteristic of the clergy
: of or relating to a clerk
clerically adverb


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: a member of the clergy
: clerk
clericals plural : clerical garments

Examples of clerical in a Sentence

Adjective She spent the summer doing clerical work for a lawyer. a member of our clerical staff The mistake was due to a clerical error. Noun some of the state's most prominent clericals have spoken out against the measure
Recent Examples on the Web
At 1600 Vine, about 35 three-day notices were mistakenly issued for amounts below the threshold because of a clerical error and none resulted in an eviction, Meredith said. Liam Dillon, Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2023 In 2019, the Vatican announced that McCarrick had been dismissed from the clerical state, a process known as laicization. Jeremiah Poff, Washington Examiner, 30 Aug. 2023 The previous contract with the union representing about 30 public works employees along with clerical workers in Village Hall lapsed in spring 2020, and the new agreement runs through May of next year. Mike Nolan, Chicago Tribune, 9 Aug. 2023 Her death sparked nationwide protests that rocked the country, posing one of the biggest domestic threats to Iran’s ruling clerical regime in more than a decade. Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN, 16 July 2023 The clerical rulers who took power after the 1979 revolution, instituting a theocracy, banned the consumption and selling of alcohol in accordance with Islamic rules prohibiting intoxication. Farnaz Fassihi,, 15 July 2023 Prosecutors Said Baby Killer Lucy Letby Has 'Sinister Mind' — But no Known Motive In June 2016, Letby was placed on clerical duties after senior hospital staff reportedly grew suspicious over the number of infant deaths and near-deaths in which she was involved. Kirsty Hatcher, Peoplemag, 18 Aug. 2023 Nearly a year ago, Iranians took to the streets in nationwide protests demanding an end to the clerical government. Farnaz Fassihi,, 13 Aug. 2023 Behind the headlines on abuse audits The proliferation of audits on clerical abuse in different countries has gone some ways toward documenting the scale of the problem. Catarina Fernandes Martins, Washington Post, 1 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of clerical was in 1592

Dictionary Entries Near clerical

Cite this Entry

“Clerical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: of, relating to, or characteristic of the clergy
: of or relating to a clerk or office worker

More from Merriam-Webster on clerical

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