lay·​wom·​an ˈlā-ˌwu̇-mən How to pronounce laywoman (audio)
: a woman who is a member of the laity

Examples of laywoman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Around 400 Catholic bishops, priests, laymen and laywomen, and vowed religious from around the world joined Pope Francis for three weeks of prayer, dialogue, and listening. Heather Wilhelm, National Review, 9 Nov. 2023 The Vatican said on Wednesday that the next meeting of the Synod of Bishops, scheduled for this October at the Vatican, will include at least 40 women voters, including members of religious orders as well as laywomen. Francis X. Rocca,, 26 Apr. 2023 The decision to name the three women — two nuns and a laywoman — as members of the Congregation for Bishops will put them in position to influence the selection of the 5,300 bishops who lead dioceses and play a prominent role in the church’s interaction with the faithful all over the world. New York Times, 13 July 2022 The three women—two nuns and a laywoman—will serve five-year terms and have a hand in the selection of more than 5,300 bishops worldwide. Paige McGlauflin, Fortune, 15 July 2022 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, 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, 21 Feb. 2019 Not a bishop, not a priest — a laywoman, a former slave. Meagan Flynn, ajc, 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, 5 July 2017 See More

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

1529, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of laywoman was in 1529

Dictionary Entries Near laywoman

Cite this Entry

“Laywoman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

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