cler·i·cal | \ ˈkler-i-kəl , 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 \-i-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for clerical

Synonyms: Adjective

ministerial, pastoral, priestly, sacerdotal

Synonyms: Noun

clergyperson, cleric, clerk, deacon, divine, dominie, ecclesiastic, minister, preacher, priest, reverend

Antonyms: Adjective

lay, nonclerical, secular, temporal

Antonyms: Noun

layman, layperson, secular

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Examples of clerical in a Sentence


She spent the summer doing clerical work for a lawyer. a member of our clerical staff The mistake was due to a clerical error.


some of the state's most prominent clericals have spoken out against the measure
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Her mom, who had raised her children mostly alone on a clerical salary, tried to discourage her daughter’s artistic dreams and sent her to typing and accounting classes. Pam Kragen,, "'Stellaluna' author and artist celebrates 25th anniversary with exhibit," 1 July 2018 Between 1910 and 2000 in the United States, the share of people in professional, managerial, clerical, sales and service jobs grew from one-quarter to three-quarters of total employment, Graeber says. Alana Semuels, New York Times, "Are More and More People Working Meaningless Jobs?," 26 June 2018 This is underlined by the manual’s primary use, which is not therapeutic, but clerical: a diagnosis of a disorder with a DSM classification is often the requirement for an insurance company to authorize treatment. Alice Bolin, Longreads, "The Daughter as Detective," 26 June 2018 The department's clerical staff will remain intact. Beth Mlady,, "City Council waits to vote on Middleburg law department reorganization," 16 Apr. 2018 Those accused include both Cambodians and Cambodian-Americans, mostly employed as guards and a few as clerical staff. Time Staff, Time, "The U.S. Embassy in Cambodia Has Fired 32 People for Allegedly Sharing Pornography," 13 Apr. 2018 Or try to account for how completely computers have transformed the daily duties of clerical and back-office workers. Evan Horowitz,, "Work is getting better, especially for women," 14 July 2018 The largest number of April openings, 1.3 million, were in the broad business-services sector, which includes everything from accountants and software developers to temporary staffers and clerical workers. Eric Morath, WSJ, "American Job Openings Now Outnumber the Jobless," 5 June 2018 Other volunteer roles include patient greeters, clerical workers, story time readers and bilingual community outreach. Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora-area event calendar," 13 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for clerical

Last Updated

26 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for clerical

The first known use of clerical was in 1592

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More Definitions for clerical



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 \

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

Comments on clerical

What made you want to look up clerical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


alleviating pain or harshness

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