cler·​i·​cal·​ism | \ˈkler-i-kə-ˌli-zəm, 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

Fortuyn carried the torch of the Dutch tradition of anti-clericalism., "The new Dutch disease is white nationalism," 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about clericalism

Share clericalism

Statistics for clericalism

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for clericalism

The first known use of clericalism was in 1864

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on clericalism Encyclopedia article about clericalism

Comments on clericalism

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


a trusted follower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!