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holy orders

noun
1.
(used with a singular verb) the rite or sacrament of ordination.
2.
(used with a singular verb) the rank or status of an ordained Christian minister.
3.
(used with a plural verb) the major degrees or grades of the Christian ministry.
Origin of holy orders
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for holy orders
Historical Examples
  • Brethren, you are now members of the holy orders of God's priesthood.

  • His black cassock and scarf showed him to be in holy orders.

    The Maidens' Lodge Emily Sarah Holt
  • I have confessed to the Reverend Mr. Carew as I would confess to a priest in holy orders.

    The Dark Star Robert W. Chambers
  • Hamilton was merely titular Abbot of Ferne, and was not in holy orders.

  • They do not say that a young man is studying for the ministry, but that he is reading for holy orders.

    The American Language Henry L. Mencken
  • His response caused the candidate for holy orders to open his eyes to the widest.

    The Tiger Hunter Mayne Reid
  • August 31, 1820, a law organizing the national army exempted from service only such clerics as were actually in holy orders.

  • There can hardly be two persons of that name, both in holy orders.

    The Lady of Lynn Walter Besant
  • You, sir, are a plain priest in holy orders, and it's conceivable that on some point of use or doctrine you may be in error.

    Brother Copas Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • We are not like an unfortunate clerk in "holy orders," who can be silenced by law.

British Dictionary definitions for holy orders

holy orders

plural noun
1.
the sacrament or rite whereby a person is admitted to the Christian ministry
2.
the grades of the Christian ministry
3.
the rank or status of an ordained Christian minister
See also orders
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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