de·​frock | \(ˌ)dē-ˈfräk \

Definition of defrock 

transitive verb

1 : to deprive of the right to exercise the functions of office a defrocked priest

2 : to remove from a position of honor or privilege

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for defrock


depose, deprive, dethrone, displace, oust, uncrown, unmake, unseat, unthrone


crown, enthrone, throne

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of defrock in a Sentence

the movie's director was defrocked for going way over budget

Recent Examples on the Web

The priest eventually was defrocked and died in prison while serving a sentence for abuse in Texas. J.m. Lawrence,, "Kathy Shaw, who tirelessly tracked clergy sex abuse for blog, dies at 72," 29 June 2018 Brennan, 80, was removed from active ministry soon after the report was released and defrocked last year. Craig R. Mccoy,, "In largest reported payout yet, Philadelphia Archdiocese settles abuse lawsuit," 25 June 2018 Now that the criminal prosecution is over, Capella will be subject to a separate canonical trial, which could result in him being defrocked. Nicole Winfield,, "Vatican convicts ex-diplomat of child porn distribution," 23 June 2018 Now that the criminal prosecution is over, Capella will be subject to a canonical trial, which could result in him being defrocked. Washington Post, "Vatican convicts ex-diplomat of child porn distribution," 23 June 2018 Now that his criminal trial is over Capella will be subject to a canonical hearing, which could lead to him being defrocked. Deutsche Welle, USA TODAY, "Vatican court jails ex-diplomat Italian priest Carlo Alberto Capella for child porn," 23 June 2018 Thousands of accusations eventually led to thousands of priests being defrocked or sanctioned, more than $1 billion in settlements and forced several dioceses to file for bankruptcy protection. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "So what is this sexual harassment 'reckoning' everyone is talking about?," 17 Jan. 2018 Bishop Barros has been accused of protecting the Rev. Fernando Karadima, a former priest who was defrocked by the Vatican for abusing teenagers during the 1980s and 1990s. Ernesto LondoÑo, New York Times, "In Chile, Pope Francis Apologizes for ‘Irreparable Damage’ Caused by Sexual Abuse," 16 Jan. 2018 In 1998, under Cardinal Law’s leadership and with John Paul’s approval, Geoghan was defrocked. Emily Langer, Washington Post, "Cardinal Bernard Law, Boston archbishop at center of church sex-abuse scandal, dies at 86," 20 Dec. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of defrock

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about defrock

Dictionary Entries near defrock








Statistics for defrock

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for defrock

The first known use of defrock was in 1581

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for defrock



English Language Learners Definition of defrock

: to officially remove (a priest) from his or her job as punishment for doing something wrong

More from Merriam-Webster on defrock

See words that rhyme with defrock

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for defrock

Comments on defrock

What made you want to look up defrock? 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!


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!