• WordNet 3.6
    • n clergy in Christianity, clergymen collectively (as distinguished from the laity)
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In Nicholas County, W. Va., no member of the clergy is allowed to tell jokes or humorous stories from the pulpit during a church service.
    • Clergy Learning; also, a learned profession. "Sophictry . . . rhetoric, and other cleargy .""Put their second sons to learn some clergy ."
    • Clergy 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.
    • Clergy The privilege or benefit of clergy. "If convicted of a clergyable felony, he is entitled equally to his clergy after as before conviction."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The symbols used on playing cards were supposed to represent the four classes of men: hearts represented the clergy; spades (from the Spanish word espada, or sword) represented the warriors; clubs were originally leaves and represented the peasants; and citizens and merchants were recognized in the diamonds.
    • n clergy A body of men set apart and consecrated by due ordination to the duties of public ministration in the Christian church; the body of ecclesiastics, in distinction from the laity.
    • n clergy The privilege or benefit of clergy. See below.
    • n clergy Persons connected with the clerical profession or the religious orders.
    • n clergy Learning; erudition.
    • n clergy Sometimes applied to the ecclesiastics, ministers, and priests of non-Christian religious systems.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The table fork was introduced into England in 1601. Until then people would eat with their knives, spoons or fingers. When Queen Elizabeth first used a fork, the clergy went ballistic. They felt it was an insult to God not to touch meat with one's fingers.
    • n Clergy klėr′ji the ministers of the Christian religion, as holders of an allotted office, in contradistinction to the laity
    • ***


  • Jane Austen
    “It will, I believe, be everywhere found, that as the clergy are, or are not what they ought to be, so are the rest of the nation.”
  • Irish Proverb
    Irish Proverb
    “Be neither intimate nor distant with the clergy.”
  • Spanish Proverb
    Spanish Proverb
    “An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.”
  • Michio Watanabe
    Michio Watanabe
    “People with high ideals don't necessarily make good politicians. If clean politics is so important, we should leave the job to scientists and the clergy.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. clergie, clergi, clerge, OF. clergie, F. clergie,fr. clerc, clerc, fr. L. clericus, priest) confused with OF. clergié, F. clergé, 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
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. clergé—L.,—Gr. klērikos, from klēros, a lot, then the clergy.


In literature:

Why do not the clergy pray without cease for that one object?
"Bible Romances" by George W. Foote
The Three Estates of clergy, nobles, and commons had existed in France from time immemorial.
"The Fighting Governor" by Charles W. Colby
E. R. Mantell, Vicar of Louth, and other prominent clergy of the county.
"A History of Horncastle from the earliest period to the present time" by James Conway Walter
He was deemed by the orthodox clergy, very heterodox in his opinions.
"Benjamin Franklin, A Picture of the Struggles of Our Infant Nation One Hundred Years Ago" by John S. C. Abbott
Then there was the question of the Clergy Reserves agitating every colonial breast.
"The Winning of Popular Government" by Archibald Macmechan
He gradually learnt to control himself, and, in many instances, even succeeded in preventing disputes between the clergy and their flocks.
"Skipper Worse" by Alexander Lange Kielland
When Charlemagne conquered the country in 789 feudalism was substituted for the Roman autonomy with the co-operation of the higher clergy.
"The Shores of the Adriatic" by F. Hamilton Jackson
Moreover, the clergy assumed legal powers and attempted to regulate the conduct of the laymen.
"History of Human Society" by Frank W. Blackmar
The clergy here have offered Monsieur a great pension, to stay him from proceeding.
"History of the Rise of the Huguenots" by Henry Baird
I am about to be persecuted by the whole clergy, and I am about to persecute them in my turn.
"Calamities and Quarrels of Authors" by Isaac Disraeli

In poetry:

Oh, why were farmers made so coarse,
Or clergy made so fine?
A kick that scarce would move a horse,
May kill a sound divine.
"The Yearly Distress; Or, Tithing-Time At Stock In Essex" by William Cowper
All honor is due to the clergy:
Their efforts are saving the lost.
The merchant’s a very ti– fellow,
Who sells all his goods ‘less than cost
"The Misanthrope's Reverie" by Joseph Warren Watson
To thy vocation or profession cleave,
And let the Clergy their own bus'ness mind;
God to their care alone his ark will leave,
Who to that sacred office were design'd.
"Stanza's Concerning Some Persons And Things, That Are Mentioned In The Holy Scriptures" by Rees Prichard
So ought the Clergy, each in his degree,
With ev'ry virtue largely to abound,
Although the rest, whate'er their callings be,
Shou'd, without virtue, all their lives be found.
"The Duty Of Clergymen" by Rees Prichard
In Indolence, the Clergy live,
The venal Judges bribes receive,
The Gentry tipple in each paltry inn;
The Farmer, but as yesterday
Unus'd to drink, now topes away,
And smokes his tube, as if it were no sin.
"To The Sons Of Brutus" by Rees Prichard
And the clergy were gathered about the head of the grave,
And the attention of the spectators the Dean did crave;
Then he said, "Man that is born of woman hath a short time to live,
But, Oh, Heavenly Father! do thou our sins forgive."
"The Burial of Mr. Gladstone" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

Clergy Urge NYS Minimum Wage Hike.
Friends, fellow Catholic clergy celebrate life of 'Father John'.
Clergy sex abuse settlement includes letters of apology.
Catholic clergy abuse victims' group may come under scrutiny, report says.
A national victims group at the forefront of revealing clergy sexual abuse allegations against the Roman Catholic Church may soon be forced to reveal its own inner workings, the Chicago Tribune reports today.
Clergy plan words of comfort in missing girls' town.
Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter told attorneys in Mississippi's first clergy malpractice case he knows he'll set a legal precedent when he decides whether to dismiss a portion of the case or allow it to go to trial.
Monsignor William Lynn is the first American church official to be charged with covering up complaints of clergy child rape.
Sean Rowe, bishop of the 13-county Erie-based diocese , today announced that he will allow clergy to conduct the blessings.
The Diocese of Gallup has been named in another clergy sex abuse lawsuit.
Clergy and delegates from one of the oldest Episcopal dioceses in the nation meet this weekend in Charleston to discuss the future after splitting with the national church over issues including the ordination of gays.
This follows the pattern set by other dioceses where the former bishop and lay and clergy leaders had...
In May the diocese invited clergy to self-nominate for the half-time position, which will involve overseeing 21 mostly rural congregations in northwestern Wisconsin.
They are called "clergy killers"—congregations in which a small group of members are so disruptive that no pastor is able to maintain spiritual leadership for long.
For over 40 years, the Mercer Island Clergy Association has sponsored the service the evening before Thanksgiving.