Definition of layman in English:



  • 1A nonordained member of a church.

    • ‘He was an active Catholic layman and served as figurehead president of the Empire State Building Corporation headed by a prominent Democrat.’
    • ‘Well, a chaplain, by anybody's dictionary, is a person - clergyman or layman - who conducts a service in a chapel.’
    • ‘Recognizing I am no more qualified to deal with this subject than any Christian layman, I am turning to the opinions of the Rev.’
    unordained person, member of the congregation, parishioner
    View synonyms
  • 2A person without professional or specialized knowledge in a particular subject.

    ‘the book seems well suited to the interested layman’
    • ‘To speak of the Holocaust demanded great humility, which almost everyone exercised - artist and layman alike.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Wherever possible, recount personal experiences, direct observations, and specialized knowledge, and try to convey these things in layman's terms.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘He mentioned the pneumococcal vaccine, which of course, in layman's term, you told me, the pneumonia vaccine.’
    • ‘For professional and layman alike, this thoughtful and accessible volume is a good place to start.’
    • ‘This is an excellent summary of the state of research in this area - or at least it appears so to this interested layman.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Any techies out there who want to confirm or refute this layman's assessment?’
    • ‘While the technology is complex and hard to explain in layman's terms, I'll try to put it most simply.’
    • ‘Yet the real conflict remains between layman and expert, parent and professor, heart and head.’
    • ‘He also noted the difficulty of addressing the competing interests of layman and specialist in his text.’
    • ‘Yet politicians, bureaucrats, professionals and layman alike have immense faith in him.’
    non-expert, non-professional, amateur, non-specialist, man in the street, man on the street
    View synonyms