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laity

[ley-i-tee] /ˈleɪ ɪ ti/
noun
1.
the body of religious worshipers, as distinguished from the clergy.
2.
the people outside of a particular profession, as distinguished from those belonging to it:
the medical ignorance of the laity.
Origin
1535-1545
1535-45; lay3 + -ity
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for laity
  • Doubtless there are few among what may be called the laity who are aware of the utility of the science of astronomy.
  • It is a sorry state of affairs when the media, political leaders, and many in the laity cannot see the wisdom of the teachings.
  • Yet the congregation is anxious, it claims, to correct its undoubted bias against the laity.
  • Recently he has been practicing among the laity as well.
  • It has emerged as much bottom-up from laity as top-down from clergy members.
  • In fact, although it is pitched at the laity, it still manages to reveal something of the way economists think.
  • If the laity could program, so could those overspecialized in other areas.
  • All professions are conspiracies against the laity.
  • He recited every day the church office with him, as it was then customary for pious persons among the laity to do.
  • He induced the laity, who were not hindered, to attend constantly the canonical hours.
British Dictionary definitions for laity

laity

/ˈleɪɪtɪ/
noun
1.
laymen, as distinguished from clergymen
2.
all people not of a specific occupation
Word Origin
C16: from lay³
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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Word Origin and History for laity
n.

"body of people not in religious orders," early 15c., from Anglo-French laite, from lay (adj.) + -ity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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8
8
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