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benefit of clergy

noun
1.
the rites or sanctions of a church.
2.
formal marriage:
living together withoutbenefit of clergy.
3.
the privilege claimed by church authorities to try and punish, by an ecclesiastical court, any member of the clergy accused of a serious crime. The privilege was abolished in the U.S. in 1790 and in England in 1827.
Origin of benefit of clergy
1480-1490
1480-90
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for benefit of clergy

benefit of clergy

noun (Christianity)
1.
sanction by the church: marriage without benefit of clergy
2.
(in the Middle Ages) a privilege that placed the clergy outside the jurisdiction of secular courts and entitled them to trial in ecclesiastical courts
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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12
14
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