lay·​wom·​an | \ ˈlā-ˌwu̇-mən How to pronounce laywoman (audio) \

Definition of laywoman

: a woman who is a member of the laity

Examples of laywoman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The council summoned between 2,000 and 2,500 bishops and thousands of observers, auditors, sisters, laymen, and laywomen to four sessions at St. Peter’s Basilica over three years—an unprecedented level of openness driven by clear reformist zeal. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, "Can Married Priests Help Save the Amazon?," 25 June 2019 The main events at this week’s meeting are a series of speeches by six bishops, two laywomen and a nun on various aspects of abuse and its remedies, interspersed with closed-door discussions in small groups organized by language. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Pope Denounces Sex-Abuse ‘Plague’ Amid Pressure for Reforms," 21 Feb. 2019 Not a bishop, not a priest — a laywoman, a former slave. Meagan Flynn, ajc, "Former slave, on possible path to sainthood, to be entombed in Denver cathedral," 4 June 2018 A mixed committee was convened, made up of black, white, Asian, and Hispanic pastors and a few laywomen, roughly representing the spectrum of theological leanings in the denomination. Emma Green, The Atlantic, "A Conservative Christian Battle Over Gender," 5 July 2017

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

1529, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of laywoman was in 1529

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Cite this Entry

“Laywoman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of laywoman

: a woman who belongs to a religion but is not a member of the clergy

More from Merriam-Webster on laywoman

Nglish: Translation of laywoman for Spanish Speakers

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