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2 definitions found
 for Clergy
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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.]
     [1913 Webster]
     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.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Learning; also, a learned profession. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
              Sophictry . . . rhetoric, and other cleargy. --Guy
                                                    of Warwick.
        [1913 Webster]
              Put their second sons to learn some clergy. --State
                                                    Papers (1515).
        [1913 Webster]
     3. The privilege or benefit of clergy.
        [1913 Webster]
              If convicted of a clergyable felony, he is entitled
              equally to his clergy after as before conviction.
        [1913 Webster]
     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.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: in Christianity, clergymen collectively (as distinguished
           from the laity) [ant: laity, temporalty]

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