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[ley-muh n] /ˈleɪ mən/
noun, plural laymen.
a person who is not a member of the clergy; one of the laity.
a person who is not a member of a given profession, as law or medicine.
Origin of layman
1150-1200; Middle English; see lay3, man1
Usage note
See -man. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for layman
  • In many churches a layman active in church work will preach the sermon.
  • To the untrained eye, though, the line between the lab scientist and the layman can seem fuzzy.
  • We must look seriously at outside of the box thinking, including layman thoughts in layman terms.
  • To see how little the layman cares about the operating system of their phone, check in with a non-techy friend.
  • Especially legal text where words have a different meaning than everyday layman use.
  • Yes, folks you heard it here first, from a talented layman.
  • For many of you who may not be familiar with the term hybridization, let try to give you a layman example.
  • In general, both books succeed in being as engaging to the layman as to the practising or studying doctor.
  • It certainly doesn't take much online research to find data to concern this layman.
  • To the layman our modes of space travel can seem a little mundane.
British Dictionary definitions for layman


noun (pl) -men
a man who is not a member of the clergy
a person who does not have specialized or professional knowledge of a subject: science for the layman
Gender-neutral form layperson
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 layman

"non-cleric," early 15c., from lay (adj.) + man (n.). Meaning "outsider, non-expert" (especially in regards to law or medicine) is from late 15c. Related: Laymen.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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