cler·​i·​cal | \ ˈkler-i-kəl How to pronounce clerical (audio) , ˈkle-ri- \

Definition of clerical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of the clergy
2 : of or relating to a clerk



Definition of clerical (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a member of the clergy
3 : clerk
4 clericals plural : clerical garments

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Other Words from clerical


clerically \ ˈkler-​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce clerically (audio) , ˈkle-​ri-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for clerical

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Revolutionary Guards, an elite force charged with defending Iran’s clerical rule at home and abroad, is separate from the regular army and answers only to the supreme leader. Farnaz Fassihi, New York Times, "Anatomy of a Lie: How Iran Covered Up the Downing of an Airliner," 26 Jan. 2020 Indeed, scattered protests in Iran over the shooting down of Ukrainian International Airlines 752 led to exuberant claims by commentators that this vivid demonstration of regime incompetence would lead to the overthrow of the clerical leadership. Steven Simon, The New York Review of Books, "The Middle East: Trump Blunders In," 16 Jan. 2020 Each unit, from platoon upwards, has a clerical commissioner who vets promotions and reports directly to Mr Khamenei. The Economist, "Regime on edge Iranian clerics risk being overwhelmed by a crisis they created," 14 Jan. 2020 Nearly two years ago, unrest over poor living standards led to some calling on Shi'ite Muslim clerical leaders to step down. Sharif Paget, CNN, "Iran warns security forces may act against gas price protests," 22 Nov. 2019 The council initially voted in October to raise the fees for ride-hailing companies, but the decision was declared void because of a clerical error in posting the measure for the amount of time required by Arizona law. Washington Post, "Uber vows to stop airport service after Phoenix raises fees," 19 Dec. 2019 In documents Emile provided to USA TODAY, Bank of America acknowledged receiving Emile’s letters asking to pay off the loan but faulted him for a clerical error in his request. Nick Penzenstadler, USA Today, "As reverse mortgages end, heirs are left with heartache," 19 Dec. 2019 The city blamed the mistake on a clerical error, reposted the proposal and scheduled a new vote for Dec. 18. Melissa Yeager, azcentral, "Sky Harbor Airport's Uber/Lyft fee increase just passed — again. Here's what you'll pay," 18 Dec. 2019 Eventually the bishop reaches a verdict and a sanction, up to and including dismissal from the clerical state, or laicization. Nicole Winfield, Anchorage Daily News, "Vatican office struggles to keep up with rise in clergy abuse cases," 21 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clerical.' 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 clerical


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for clerical

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The first known use of clerical was in 1592

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Statistics for clerical

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Clerical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for clerical


How to pronounce clerical (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of clerical

: of or relating to a clerk or office worker
: of or relating to members of the clergy


cler·​i·​cal | \ ˈkler-i-kəl How to pronounce clerical (audio) \

Kids Definition of clerical

1 : relating to the clergy The minister wore his clerical collar.
2 : relating to a clerk or office worker the clerical staff

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More from Merriam-Webster on clerical

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clerical

Spanish Central: Translation of clerical

Nglish: Translation of clerical for Spanish Speakers

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