Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A man who is not a cleric.
  • n. A man who is a nonprofessional: His is just the layman's view of medicine. See Usage Note at man.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. layperson, someone who is not an ordained cleric or member of the clergy
  • n. by analogy, someone who is not a professional in a given field
  • n. a common person
  • n. a person who is untrained or lacks knowledge of a subject
  • n. a generally ignorant person
  • n. lay-sister or lay-brother, person received into a convent of monks, following the vows, but not being member of the order

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the people, in distinction from the clergy; one of the laity; sometimes, a man not belonging to some particular profession, in distinction from those who do.
  • n. A lay figure. See under Lay, n. (above).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An unprofessional man; a man belonging to the laity or general mass of people, as distinguished from members of the professions of divinity, law, and medicine; specifically, one who does not belong to the clerical profession; more particularly, a church-member who is not a clergyman: also sometimes applied to persons with reference to any other profession or occupation in which they are not expert.
  • n. Same as lay-figure, 1.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone who is not a clergyman or a professional person

Etymologies

From Middle English lay +‎ man (Wiktionary)

Examples

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