clerisy

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Introduced by Coleridge, apparently after German Clerisei (modern Klerisei), from Late Latin clēricus.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

clerisy (plural clerisies)

  1. An elite group of intellectuals; learned people, the literati.
    • 2003: By the nineteenth-century clerisy [...] Christianity itself, yoked to material civilization, came to be questioned as gross and vulgar. — Roy Porter, Flesh in the Age of Reason (Penguin 2004, p. 432)
    • 2016: Only the highly educated write so badly. Indeed, the point of such ludicrous prose is to signal membership in a closed clerisy that possesses a private language. — George F. Will, Washington Post, 18 Nov, 2016
  2. The clergy, or their opinions, as opposed to the laity.

Synonyms[edit]