lay·​per·​son | \ ˈlā-ˌpər-sᵊn How to pronounce layperson (audio) \

Definition of layperson

: a member of the laity

Examples of layperson in a Sentence

a meeting between clergy and laypeople
Recent Examples on the Web Mostly, scientists have found what any layperson might assume: longer distances equal lower risk, though with diminishing returns. The Economist, "The Economist explains The science behind social-distancing measures," 20 June 2020 Established in 1232 and officially consecrated in 1259, the friary's burial grounds likely included wealthy, high-status laypersons, according to the authors. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Medieval arrows caused injuries similar to gunshot wounds, study finds," 13 May 2020 During the 1990s, naloxone use expanded into communities to first responders, laypersons and, most importantly, to people who use drugs to reverse opioid overdoses. Victoria Tutag Lehr, The Conversation, "Pharmacists could be front-line fighters in battle against opioid epidemic," 21 Apr. 2020 The medical community and laypersons alike often blamed victims of the disease for their own suffering, believing that vicious, debauched, and unhygienic lifestyles begat typhus. Timothy Kent Holliday, Smithsonian Magazine, "What an 1836 Typhus Outbreak Taught the Medical World About Epidemics," 21 Apr. 2020 But even this algorithm is difficult for a layperson to understand. Adam Satariano,, "An algorithm that grants freedom, or takes it away," 8 Feb. 2020 The final image has to be relatable, visually coherent for even a layperson, and of high design quality. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "How Illustrators Created the Iconic Coronavirus Image," 2 Apr. 2020 The average layperson struggles to put these in context. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Lessons seen in ill-fated water-rail plan," 9 Nov. 2019 Borrowers -- both institutional or laypersons -- can look up exactly what their interest rate would be in the future under Libor. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "The most important interest rate you've never heard of is about to change," 19 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'layperson.' 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 layperson

1972, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of layperson was in 1972

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Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Layperson.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for layperson


lay·​per·​son | \ ˈlā-ˌpər-sᵊn How to pronounce layperson (audio) \

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