de·​frock (ˌ)dē-ˈfräk How to pronounce defrock (audio)
defrocked; defrocking; defrocks

transitive verb

: to deprive of the right to exercise the functions of office
a defrocked priest
: to remove from a position of honor or privilege

Examples of defrock in a Sentence

the movie's director was defrocked for going way over budget
Recent Examples on the Web In 2010, the Associated Press reported on Oakland pastor Stephen Kiesle, who was convicted of molesting children, and asked to be defrocked by the church in 1981. Noah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times, 8 May 2023 David Kerr, a spokesman for the Diocese of Lansing, said now that DeLorenzo has pleaded guilty he will be formally defrocked. Corky Siemaszko, NBC News, 27 Apr. 2023 One exception is former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was defrocked in 2019 after abuse allegations surfaced. Fredrick Kunkle, Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2023 Francis originally set out the norms as a response to the decades of cover-up exposed by a Pennsylvania grand jury report and the scandal over then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was eventually defrocked for abusing adults as well as minors. Nicole Winfield, al, 25 Mar. 2023 None of the priests were defrocked. Monica Scislowska, Chicago Tribune, 7 Mar. 2023 The Vatican issued piecemeal changes over the years to address the problems and loopholes, most significantly requiring all cases to be sent to the Holy See for review and allowing for a more streamlined administrative process to defrock a priest if the evidence against him was overwhelming. Nicole Winfield, Anchorage Daily News, 1 June 2021 Under Ratzinger’s watch as cardinal and pope, the Vatican authorized fast-track administrative procedures to defrock egregious abusers. Nicole Winfield, ajc, 1 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'defrock.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of defrock was in 1581

Dictionary Entries Near defrock

Cite this Entry

“Defrock.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

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