lay·​per·​son | \ ˈlā-ˌpər-sᵊn How to pronounce layperson (audio) \
plural laypeople\ ˈlā-​ˌpē-​pəl How to pronounce layperson (audio) \ also laypersons

Definition of layperson

1 : a member of the laity (see laity sense 1) It [the Vatican] permitted groups of laypeople to apply to their local bishop and, after affirming loyalty to Vatican II, receive an indult allowing limited celebration of the 1962 missal.— Peter Jeffrey Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha will award the Marian Medal to 79 laypersons from parishes throughout the Fall River Diocese …Mansfield (Massachusetts) News
2 : a person who does not belong to a particular profession or who is not expert or versed in some field Intended for the layperson, this book uses straightforward language to aid in identifying more than 500 medicinal plants.— Mark Blumenthal Technically, it's called "Ultimate," but most laypeople need the "Frisbee" attached to make an association.— Joe Miller

Examples of layperson in a Sentence

a meeting between clergy and laypeople
Recent Examples on the Web Kleiman describes their technical accomplishments in clear language easy for the computer layperson to follow. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Aug. 2022 For the layperson, choosing a safe, clean, natural beauty product comes down primarily to the stuff that is not in it, as opposed to what is. Pamela N. Danziger, Forbes, 2 Aug. 2022 Is googol a number any actual layperson has ever needed to use? Amy Brady, Scientific American, 16 June 2022 Many of today’s best bidet attachments feature DIY installs for the layperson without calling a plumber and few, if any, tools required. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 19 July 2022 Topgolf aims to reset how the layperson experiences the game by placing a new kind of welcome mat outside golf’s haughty front gates. Michael Mcknight, Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2022 While the archived atelier gown might be a bit beyond the layperson’s reach, the wallpaper—as of this week—is not. Rachel Silva, ELLE Decor, 26 May 2022 Ben Wilcox, co-founder of the government watchdog group Integrity Florida, said to a layperson, 100 days seems more than sufficient for DeSantis to decide, particularly since the investigation is complete. Terry Spencer, Sun Sentinel, 12 May 2022 Besides closing the first two weeks of 2022, and opening the way to a long holiday weekend, Friday tested the layperson’s knack for predicting weather. Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of layperson

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of layperson was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near layperson

lay over


lay plans

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Last Updated

31 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Layperson.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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

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