Definition of lay brother in English:

lay brother

(also lay sister)


  • A person who has taken the vows of a religious order but is not ordained or obliged to take part in the full cycle of liturgy and is employed in ancillary or manual work.

    • ‘It became one of the largest Cistercian houses, with 140 monks, 240 lay brothers, and at least as many again servants.’
    • ‘Traveling with him is a lay brother riding a beautiful horse, and a dark-skinned man, his dress a mixture of monastic robe and military garb.’
    • ‘There are never enough priests and lay brothers and sisters to go round.’
    • ‘He came from Toledo and was a famous painter of still lifes there by 1603 when he professed as a lay brother in the Carthusian order and moved to Granada.’
    • ‘There were some 60 monks at Duiske, and many more lay brothers.’
    • ‘One of the monks, an elderly lay brother named Luc, was a medical doctor who ran a clinic for the impoverished locals.’