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clergy

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clergy


  2  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Clergy  \Cler"gy\,  n.  [OE.  clergie  clergi,  clerge,  OF  clergie 
  F.  clergie  (fr.  clerc  clerc,  fr  L.  clericus  priest)  confused 
  with  OF  clergi['e],  F.  clerg['e],  fr  LL  clericatus  office 
  of  priest,  monastic  life,  fr  L.  clericus  priest,  LL 
  scholar,  clerc.  Both  the  Old  French  words  meant  clergy,  in 
  sense  1,  the  former  having  also  sense  2.  See  {Clerk}.] 
  1.  The  body  of  men  set  apart,  by  due  ordination,  to  the 
  service  of  God,  in  the  Christian  church,  in  distinction 
  from  the  laity;  in  England,  usually  restricted  to  the 
  ministers  of  the  Established  Church.  --Hooker. 
 
  2.  Learning;  also  a  learned  profession.  [Obs.] 
 
  Sophictry  .  .  .  rhetoric,  and  other  cleargy.  --Guy 
  of  Warwick. 
 
  Put  their  second  sons  to  learn  some  clergy.  --State 
  Papers  (1515). 
 
  3.  The  privilege  or  benefit  of  clergy. 
 
  If  convicted  of  a  clergyable  felony,  he  is  entitled 
  equally  to  his  clergy  after  as  before  conviction. 
  --Blackstone. 
 
  {Benefit  of  clergy}  (Eng.,  Law),  the  exemption  of  the  persons 
  of  clergymen  from  criminal  process  before  a  secular  judge 
  --  a  privilege  which  was  extended  to  all  who  could  read, 
  such  persons  being  in  the  eye  of  the  law,  clerici,  or 
  clerks.  This  privilege  was  abridged  and  modified  by 
  various  statutes,  and  finally  abolished  in  the  reign  of 
  George  IV  (1827). 
 
  {Regular  clergy},  {Secular  clergy}  See  {Regular},  n.,  and 
  {Secular},  a. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  clergy 
  n  :  clergymen  collectively  (as  distinguished  from  the  laity) 
  [ant:  {laity}] 




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