Definition of laity in English:

laity

noun

  • 1Lay people, as distinct from the clergy.

    • ‘In many cases it is being done by co-opting both the clergy and the laity, giving them no alternative except to acquiesce.’
    • ‘Further, the council called on the entire church to evangelize the modern world through renewal of the laity's role.’
    • ‘An important reason for this stance was the view, widespread among both the laity and church leaders, that the Jews were a danger to society.’
    • ‘We need a learned clergy and a learned laity to meet the demands and challenges of local church and community life and of being God's people in the world.’
    • ‘People - laity and clergy - want to have a voice in who leads their diocese and how that leader functions.’
    • ‘For all clergy and laity who wish to talk about ‘the church in exile,’ this book is a must read.’
    • ‘Each will create a blurring of the boundaries between clergy and laity.’
    • ‘Groups of clergy and laity are forming to ‘take back the church’ and to democratize it.’
    • ‘Clergy and laity in the western U.S. had sought clarity on the issue.’
    • ‘Today divorced and remarried clergy and laity serve the church faithfully as full partners.’
    • ‘Dr Ryan has emphasised throughout his period as bishop the importance of involving the laity in parish and church affairs.’
    • ‘They hope to raise enough support to force the issue when Greek Orthodox clergy and laity convene next year in Los Angeles.’
    • ‘For the sake of successful cooperation the respective responsibilities of clergy and laity must be clearly demarcated.’
    • ‘In times of crisis, leaders are needed who can inspire both clergy and laity.’
    • ‘Still, some way must be found for the clergy and laity of the world to be involved in the choice.’
    • ‘In a church rich with religious orders, it is peculiar for someone to write as if the Roman clergy and laity did not know the difference.’
    • ‘In Communist times, Catholic clergy and laity who did not convert to Orthodoxy were imprisoned in labor camps and often murdered.’
    • ‘Some of our parishes are dull little affairs presided over by a fearful clergy and laity.’
    • ‘I am rather asserting that the laity feels that church leadership does not know what it is talking about.’
    • ‘The bishops - together with the laity and clergy - should be part of the creation of a healthy, revitalized church.’
    parishioners, parish, churchgoers, flock, fold, faithful, following, followers, adherents, believers, loyal members, fellowship, communicants, laity, brethren, brothers and sisters, souls
    View synonyms
  • 2Ordinary people, as distinct from professionals or experts.

    • ‘Never did Shaw speak a truer word, that all professions are conspiracies against the laity.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from lay + -ity.

Pronunciation:

laity

/ˈleɪɪti/