Definition of layman in English:



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

    ‘he was an active Catholic layman’
    • ‘In one story, a layman coming to pray at the church places a money offering at the foot of the cross.’
    • ‘Well, a chaplain, by anybody's dictionary, is a person - clergyman or layman - who conducts a service in a chapel.’
    • ‘He was an active Catholic layman and served as figurehead president of the Empire State Building Corporation headed by a prominent Democrat.’
    • ‘"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.’
    • ‘The key to accomplishing this must surely be the biblical training of pastors and active laymen.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The priests, pastors, and laymen of this religion are the people of America.’
    • ‘The secular churches were prominent patrons, as were the leading individual laymen and ecclesiastics.’
    • ‘In the United States Armenian priests are elected by laymen and ordained by bishops, but confirmed by the Patriarch, who resides in Armenia.’
    • ‘Almost immediately, the producers surrendered, agreeing to a strict enforcement of the Code under the administration of a prominent Catholic layman.’
    • ‘Gradually, the plays moved outside the church, laymen joined the cast, and Latin was replaced by the vernacular.’
    • ‘Recognizing I am no more qualified to deal with this subject than any Christian layman, I am turning to the opinions of the Rev.’
    • ‘A leading layman in the Presbyterian Church, he held for years the post of honorary director of the Union Theological Seminary.’
    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’
    • ‘For professional and layman alike, this thoughtful and accessible volume is a good place to start.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And that in layman's language is about the survival of the professional game in Ireland.’
    • ‘Wherever possible, recount personal experiences, direct observations, and specialized knowledge, and try to convey these things in layman's terms.’
    • ‘While the technology is complex and hard to explain in layman's terms, I'll try to put it most simply.’
    • ‘Yet politicians, bureaucrats, professionals and layman alike have immense faith in him.’
    • ‘Third, he made it all accessible to the intelligent layman in simple, lucid English.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You possess greater knowledge than I do; I am but a poorly educated layman eking out an existence.’
    • ‘Any techies out there who want to confirm or refute this layman's assessment?’
    • ‘This book is written in layman's terms and is, in one sense, easy to read.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In layman's terms, that's who got out of the buildings, how they got out, and why.’
    • ‘I mean, everything that I found in the library was written, you know, was not in layman's terms, but in medical terms.’
    • ‘Other ailments include dental caris (dental cavities in layman's parlance), periodontitis or swelling of the gums and oral cancer.’
    • ‘But most of it can be understood by the interested layman.’
    • ‘To speak of the Holocaust demanded great humility, which almost everyone exercised - artist and layman alike.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He mentioned the pneumococcal vaccine, which of course, in layman's term, you told me, the pneumonia vaccine.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He doesn't mince words, and he is able to talk about this in layman's terms that everyone can understand.’
    • ‘This is an excellent summary of the state of research in this area - or at least it appears so to this 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.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He loves his job, and he wants to explain in layman's terms the sport's technical side.’
      • ‘This work is described in layman's terms in the article.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To put it in layman's terms, it is just not as funny as it used to be.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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".’