Definition of cleric in English:



  • A priest or religious leader, especially a Christian or Muslim one.

    • ‘Based on what you just got through saying, the senior Muslim Shiite clerics have no use for this guy.’
    • ‘Soon there is a shortage of Muslim clerics worldwide, but many arrive from the revitalized Middle East.’
    • ‘Now, the bomb exploded as mourners attended the funeral of a pro - government cleric.’
    • ‘A Muslim cleric and additional copies of the Koran are coming in soon.’
    • ‘Constantly, they are being seen with Muslim clerics and visiting mosques.’
    • ‘Women cannot preach to men, but female clerics ministering to women are not uncommon.’
    • ‘He was caught in Aberystwyth, west Wales, in September after a suspicious local cleric reported him to police.’
    • ‘What happens if there's another radical cleric who comes forward and mobilizes these people?’
    • ‘He was a well-respected figure and considered a relatively moderate leader in a party ruled by hardline Muslim clerics.’
    • ‘It has a warrant for his arrest in connection with the murder of another cleric.’
    • ‘He's one of only five living Grand Ayatollahs and is Iraq's most senior Shiite cleric.’
    • ‘A leading Somali cleric, however, said such violence was the result of what he called oppression.’
    • ‘Listening to this elderly cleric, rambling on about the woes of the world, he can scarcely believe his luck.’
    • ‘On an invitation by the clerics of a church, Shyam had rendered a Puranadra Dasa composition.’
    • ‘The officiating minister for the wedding was the chief cleric, who was dressed in his finest robes.’
    • ‘He handed a copy to each cleric and their aides, after which he sat down and watched their reactions.’
    • ‘He was a formidable athlete as well as a notable Westmorland cleric.’
    • ‘My father is descended from Muslim clerics in Rembang and my mother is from Jepara, which is also strongly Islamic.’
    • ‘He taught his son all the magic he knew and sent him from wizard to sorcerer to cleric to learn more.’
    • ‘I had expected something of the ghost in the machine philosopher rather than a sober minded cleric.’


Early 17th century: from ecclesiastical Latin clericus ‘clergyman’, from Greek klērikos ‘belonging to the Christian clergy’, from klēros ‘lot, heritage’ (Acts 1:26).