cler·​i·​cal·​ism | \ ˈkler-i-kə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce clericalism (audio) , ˈkle-ri- \

Definition of clericalism

: a policy of maintaining or increasing the power of a religious hierarchy

Examples of clericalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And it’s not just what is known as clericalism that is the problem. Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, 16 Nov. 2020 Failing to properly investigate rumors about McCarrick was a sign of both incompetence and clericalism. The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Nov. 2020 This is a sign that clericalism was at work as much as incompetence. The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Nov. 2020 Pope Francis, who ordered the report in 2018, has frequently attributed the crisis to clericalism, a systemic abuse of power and the unhealthy pursuit of authority within the church’s hierarchy. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, 10 Nov. 2020 Fortuyn carried the torch of the Dutch tradition of anti-clericalism., 20 Mar. 2018

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

First Known Use of clericalism

1864, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of clericalism was in 1864

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Dictionary Entries Near clericalism

clerical error



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Cite this Entry

“Clericalism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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