Definition of shaveling in English:



derogatory, archaic
  • A clergyman or priest with a tonsured head.

    • ‘His hair is cut away; the locks that covered him once are taken from him, and there he stands a shaveling, weak as other men.’
    • ‘Never did we more greatly marvel at the mercy of God, which holds back his thunderbolts from destroying those wretched shavelings who deceive the people.’
    • ‘About him stood three priests, true shavelings, clean shorn and polled, who were muttering strange words to the devils out of a conjuring book.’
    • ‘What you shavelings call ‘incomprehensible sayings’ is incomprehensible only to you, not to the Buddhas and ancestors.’
    • ‘‘Our chaplain attempted to teach me to write,’ he said, ‘but all my letters were formed like spear-heads and sword blades, and so the old shaveling gave up the task.’’