Borrowed from Late Latin clēricus, from Ancient Greek κληρικός (klērikós), from κλῆρος (klêros, “a casting lots, drawing lots”), (Europe; many officers at Athens obtained their offices by lot, as opposed to election [Liddell and Scott]), from Proto-Indo-European *kald-, *klād- (“timber, log”), from Proto-Indo-European *kola-, *klā- (“to beat, hew, break, destroy, kill”). Doublet of clerk.
cleric (plural clerics)
- A clergy member.
- cleric in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- cleric in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
- cleric at OneLook Dictionary Search