the body of religious worshipers, as distinguished from the clergy.
the people outside of a particular profession, as distinguished from those belonging to it: the medical ignorance of the laity.

1535–45; lay3 + -ity Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
laity (ˈleɪɪtɪ)
1.  laymen, as distinguished from clergymen
2.  all people not of a specific occupation
[C16: from lay³]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1540s, "body of people not in religious orders," Anglo-Fr. laite, from lay (adj.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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