Attested in the 13th Century CE; from clergie, from Old French clergié (“learned men”), from Late Latin clericātus, from Latin clericus (“one ordained for religious services”), from Ancient Greek κληρικός (klērikós, “of the clergy”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈklɜːdʒi/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈklɝdʒi/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɜː(r)dʒi
clergy (plural clergies)
- Body of persons, such as ministers, sheiks, priests and rabbis, who are trained and ordained for religious service.
1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 5, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
- Then everybody once more knelt, and soon the blessing was pronounced. The choir and the clergy trooped out slowly, […], down the nave to the western door. […] At a seemingly immense distance the surpliced group stopped to say the last prayer.
- Today we brought together clergy from the Wiccan, Christian, New Age and Islamic traditions for an interfaith dialogue.
- “clergy” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).