Definition of layman in English:



  • 1A non-ordained male member of a Church.

    ‘he was an active Catholic layman’
    • ‘He was an active Catholic layman and served as figurehead president of the Empire State Building Corporation headed by a prominent Democrat.’
    • ‘In one story, a layman coming to pray at the church places a money offering at the foot of the cross.’
    • ‘Recognizing I am no more qualified to deal with this subject than any Christian layman, I am turning to the opinions of the Rev.’
    • ‘Renditions from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries show a sequence of discrete scenes, including one in which monks and laymen are assembled before an imposing sculpted icon.’
    • ‘In the United States Armenian priests are elected by laymen and ordained by bishops, but confirmed by the Patriarch, who resides in Armenia.’
    • ‘Gradually, the plays moved outside the church, laymen joined the cast, and Latin was replaced by the vernacular.’
    • ‘The priests, pastors, and laymen of this religion are the people of America.’
    • ‘The key to accomplishing this must surely be the biblical training of pastors and active laymen.’
    • ‘The secular churches were prominent patrons, as were the leading individual laymen and ecclesiastics.’
    • ‘A leading layman in the Presbyterian Church, he held for years the post of honorary director of the Union Theological Seminary.’
    • ‘"Frere (au) chapeau" (a brother in a hat) referred to a layman or monk not entitled to a hood when escorting a superior of his religious order.’
    • ‘Well, a chaplain, by anybody's dictionary, is a person - clergyman or layman - who conducts a service in a chapel.’
    • ‘Almost immediately, the producers surrendered, agreeing to a strict enforcement of the Code under the administration of a prominent Catholic layman.’
    unordained person, member of the congregation, parishioner
    layperson, unordained person, member of the congregation, parishioner
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  • 2A person without professional or specialized knowledge in a particular subject.

    ‘the book seems well suited to the interested layman’
    • ‘Very correctly too, because in layman's language it is a job of work everyone, including the firm that carried it our, can be justifiably proud of.’
    • ‘In layman's terms, that's who got out of the buildings, how they got out, and why.’
    • ‘This book is written in layman's terms and is, in one sense, easy to read.’
    • ‘To speak of the Holocaust demanded great humility, which almost everyone exercised - artist and layman alike.’
    • ‘And that in layman's language is about the survival of the professional game in Ireland.’
    • ‘Other ailments include dental caris (dental cavities in layman's parlance), periodontitis or swelling of the gums and oral cancer.’
    • ‘And he explained it to me, broke it down in layman's parlance.’
    • ‘Planning law is not easy for laymen to understand, which is evident from your editorial.’
    • ‘Third, he made it all accessible to the intelligent layman in simple, lucid English.’
    • ‘He also noted the difficulty of addressing the competing interests of layman and specialist in his text.’
    • ‘Yet the real conflict remains between layman and expert, parent and professor, heart and head.’
    • ‘I'm no expert at all on this subject - I've read a few books that have touched on the issue, but I'm basically just a mildly informed layman on this.’
    • ‘For professional and layman alike, this thoughtful and accessible volume is a good place to start.’
    • ‘He mentioned the pneumococcal vaccine, which of course, in layman's term, you told me, the pneumonia vaccine.’
    • ‘While the technology is complex and hard to explain in layman's terms, I'll try to put it most simply.’
    • ‘I mean, everything that I found in the library was written, you know, was not in layman's terms, but in medical terms.’
    • ‘I have to say I was somewhat interested in this film which, I was told, was an attempt to explain quantum physics in layman's terms.’
    • ‘Yet politicians, bureaucrats, professionals and layman alike have immense faith in him.’
    • ‘This is an excellent summary of the state of research in this area - or at least it appears so to this interested layman.’
    • ‘He said: ‘It affects the head of the femur, or, in layman's terms, the ball of the ball-and-socket joint, effectively causing this to die and then re-model itself’.’
    • ‘You possess greater knowledge than I do; I am but a poorly educated layman eking out an existence.’
    • ‘Now, I suspect that your answer to this question may lose the rest of us, but in layman's terms, we heard talk about vaccines against cancer.’
    • ‘He doesn't mince words, and he is able to talk about this in layman's terms that everyone can understand.’
    • ‘But most of it can be understood by the interested layman.’
    • ‘What that means in layman's terms is that clouds of vapor could come over the edge of the crater, roll down the sides of the volcano.’
    • ‘Wherever possible, recount personal experiences, direct observations, and specialized knowledge, and try to convey these things in layman's terms.’
    • ‘Any techies out there who want to confirm or refute this layman's assessment?’
    non-expert, non-professional, amateur, non-specialist, man in the street, man on the street
    non-expert, layperson, non-professional, amateur, non-specialist, man in the street, man on the street
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  • in layman's terms

    • Phrased so as to be easily understood, without the use of technical or obscure terms.

      ‘the seminar will be presented in layman's terms’
      • ‘They will explain things in layman's terms and work with you to not only help you reach the top but understand how you got there as well.’
      • ‘This work is described in layman's terms in the article.’
      • ‘To put it in layman's terms, it is just not as funny as it used to be.’
      • ‘For the general public who are intrigued by the mysterious aspects of this practice and its lineage, an explanation in layman's terms will be offered.’
      • ‘What this means in layman's terms is that on average, company values are about 38% lower now than they were 4 years ago.’
      • ‘While the book is not exactly written in laymen's terms, anyone who has the confidence to select their own stocks should be able to understand its concepts with no problem.’
      • ‘I had forgotten having told the builder they should be separate from the main contract, or in layman's terms, that I would be "buying them myself".’
      • ‘He loves his job, and he wants to explain in layman's terms the sport's technical side.’
      • ‘The surgery treated a superior labrum anterior-posterior lesion, which in layman's terms is a type of cyst which caused a build-up of fluid around the nerves in her right shoulder.’