la·​i·​cize ˈlā-ə-ˌsīz How to pronounce laicize (audio)
laicized; laicizing

transitive verb

: to reduce to lay status
: to put under the direction of or open to the laity
laicization noun

Examples of laicize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 1981, after serving three years of probation, Kiesle asked to be laicized — removed from the priesthood. Matthias Gafni,, 3 Mar. 2020 Though Brown was stripped of his authority to act publicly as a priest, he wasn’t laicized, or defrocked, until September 2019. David Tarrant, Dallas News, 1 Feb. 2020 Roughly 40% of all the living credibly accused clergy members had either been laicized or had voluntarily left the church. Anchorage Daily News, 5 Oct. 2019 Thirteen have died, two have been removed from ministry, and four have been laicized, or removed from the clerical state. Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'laicize.' 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

1870, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of laicize was in 1870

Dictionary Entries Near laicize

Cite this Entry

“Laicize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

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