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

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

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Examples of defrock in a Sentence

the movie's director was defrocked for going way over budget
Recent Examples on the Web Robben eventually was defrocked from the Christian order, and apparently then started his own. Claudia Lauer And Meghan Hoyer,, "Without oversight, scores of accused priests live under the radar and commit crimes," 5 Oct. 2019 Robben eventually was defrocked from the Christian order, and apparently then started his own. Anchorage Daily News, "Without oversight, scores of accused priests commit crimes," 5 Oct. 2019 Robben eventually was defrocked from the Christian order, and apparently then started his own. NBC News, "Almost 1,700 priests and clergy accused of sex abuse are unsupervised," 4 Oct. 2019 Tim Lennon, the president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), says the church should have been decisive following Pell’s conviction and immediately defrocked him. Gina Martinez, Time, "Catholic Priest Abuse Survivors' Group Says It's 'Cowardly' That Convicted Cardinal Has Not Been Defrocked," 21 Aug. 2019 Capparelli was defrocked as a priest in 1992 in New Jersey after being accused of groping and brutalizing teenage boys in the 1970s and 1980s at churches around the state. Ken Ritter, Detroit Free Press, "Man held in Oakland County Jail named in death of ex-priest in Las Vegas," 5 June 2019 The next year, the church defrocked Father Geoghan and removed him from the priesthood. New York Times, "Maryetta Dussourd, 74, Dies; Raised Early Alarm on Abusive Priests," 3 June 2019 The decision makes the 88-year-old the first U.S. cardinal—and possibly the first ever globally—to be defrocked. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Pope Francis, in a First, Dismisses U.S. Cardinal From the Priesthood," 16 Feb. 2019 Altogether, the pope has accepted the resignations of seven bishops in Chile and defrocked several prominent priests. Ryan Dube, WSJ, "Pope Francis’ Handling of Sex-Abuse Cases Fractures a Catholic Stronghold," 19 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of defrock

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for defrock

Time Traveler

The first known use of defrock was in 1581

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Statistics for defrock

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Defrock.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for defrock


How to pronounce defrock (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of defrock

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

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Comments on defrock

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very cautious or careful

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