Definition of defrock in English:



[with object]
  • 1Deprive (a person in holy orders) of ecclesiastical status.

    ‘he had left his diocese one step ahead of a move to defrock him’
    ‘a defrocked French Catholic priest’
    • ‘Journalists rarely understand the full power of the press, but one authority we don't have is the power to defrock priests.’
    • ‘As expected their new policy does determine that priests who offend from here on out will be defrocked.’
    • ‘The Dallas resolution made it much easier to defrock a priest for molesting a child.’
    • ‘Don Vitaliano - Nothing But a Priest is a documentary about an anti-capitalist priest who has subsequently been defrocked.’
    • ‘He was tried for heresy by the Free Church of Scotland and defrocked.’
    • ‘The cardinals said on Wednesday they would recommend a process to defrock any priest who has become ‘notorious and is guilty of the serial, predatory sexual abuse of minors’.’
    • ‘Because of Buddhism's central importance in national life, the state has long been reluctant to act against errant monks until they have been defrocked by the Buddhist hierarchy.’
    • ‘He was sentenced to a fine, whipping, defrocking, life imprisonment and pillorying four times a year for the rest of his life.’
    • ‘Because it is a state church, however, the Lutheran Church cannot defrock him.’
    • ‘If this story is true the priest who offered up this warped advice should be defrocked.’
    • ‘The Modernist clergyman who had led the revolt, found himself defrocked and excommunicated.’
    • ‘Priests who are guilty of sexually assaulting minors should be defrocked and turned over to the law.’
    • ‘Now defrocked, he was free from government monastic regulations and duties, and yet he had not freely chosen the lay life for himself.’
    • ‘He was also allegedly defrocked as a Russian Orthodox priest in his home country.’
    • ‘A bishops' committee has recommended the church defrock any priest who abuses children in the future, but says that if a priest only abused one child in the past, he might continue as a priest.’
    • ‘The bishop had been speaking about gun control at an anti-gun rally only a few days before the court hearing, and recommended that he be defrocked.’
    • ‘He has been suspended for six months while the matter is further investigated, and it appears almost a certainty that he will be defrocked.’
    • ‘An Irish Protestant priest who faced being defrocked for publicly stating he did not believe in the divinity of Christ last night announced his resignation.’
    • ‘If he is ordained, he should be defrocked for violating confidentiality.’
    • ‘Do they determine in some way or another that this priest can be reassigned and another priest should be defrocked?’
    1. 1.1 Deprive (someone) of professional status or membership of a prestigious group.
      ‘a defrocked psychiatrist’
      • ‘If the gentlemen's code lauded self-sacrifice, its opposite selfishness - was behavior that, if egregious enough, could defrock a gentleman.’
      • ‘Some welcome the defrocking of consultants as a sign of democratisation: the people will not stand for being pulled apart and pushed around by men in white coats.’
      • ‘This courageous stand put him at odds with the chief justice, who has since been defrocked for thumbing his nose at the federal courts.’
      • ‘These defrocked workers are retraining for free in the city sponsored center, where they learn computer skills and facial massage.’
      • ‘In line with the law he was defrocked, and the commandments plaque was removed.’
      • ‘If you've accepted such behavior in the past and expect to continue this friendship in the future, it's wrong to insist on defrocking your friend.’


Early 17th century: from French défroquer, from dé- (expressing removal) + froc ‘frock’.