Definition of layman
1 : a person who is not a member of the clergy The parish council consisted of both clergy and laymen.
2 : a person who does not belong to a particular profession or who is not expert in some field For a layman, he knows a lot about the law.
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Examples of layman in a Sentence
For a layman, he knows a lot about the law.
He's an important layman in his church.
Recent Examples of layman from the Web
In July 2007, the Sixth Circuit reversed that decision simply on the issue of standing — in layman’s terms, having the right to sue.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'layman'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Layman began its run in English as the open compound "lay man." In this context, "lay" is an adjective that can mean "belonging or relating to those not in holy orders," "not of the clergy," and "not ecclesiastical." The origins of "lay" and "layman" can be traced back through French and Late Latin to Greek laikos, meaning "of the people." Layman was originally used to distinguish between non-clerical people and the clergy, but it was soon also being used to distinguish non-professionals from professionals in a field (such as law or medicine). In a similar fashion, the collective noun "laity" originally referred to non-clerical people but came to also mean "persons not of a particular profession."
First Known Use of layman
LAYMAN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of layman for English Language Learners
: a person who is not a member of a particular profession
: a person who belongs to a religion but is not a priest, minister, etc.
LAYMAN Defined for Kids
Definition of layman for Students
1 : a person who is not a member of the clergy
2 : a person who is not a member of a certain profession
Seen and Heard
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