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

  • n. A woman who is not a cleric.
  • n. A woman who is a nonprofessional: "[a program] to educate laywomen in the ways of political campaigns” ( New York).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A woman who is a layperson, one who has not taken a religious oath (such as becoming a nun).
  • n. by analogy, a woman who is not a professional in a given field


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It’s really interesting — it presents the latest biology research papers in terms a laywoman can understand I’m no scientist, and I can follow it.

    Suggestion Box: Blogs. | Mind on Fire

  • Gertrude Li, for example, a young Chinese laywoman whose experience of persecution is narrated in the fourth chapter of this volume, expresses herself in a letter from February 1952 in language that today we might find somewhat bewildering, if not disturbing: It pleases God to water his harvest with the blood of martyrs.


  • I went to a Jesuit high school, and I've done the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, so I feel like I have a pretty decent grasp, for a laywoman, on the Jesuit psyche.

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • After reading the list of new mortal sins, I wanted to applaud the Catholic Church, of which I am a laywoman and trained academic moral theologian.

    Archive 2008-03-01

  • A self-described "laywoman in her late 60s" was moved to "jump out of bed at 2: 30 a.m." to write about her "lifelong love affair with the Scriptures," which had shaped her "positive, passionate convictions about God's view of women."

    Mail Call

  • And one of our classmates, a Catholic laywoman, was determined to produce a version of the Eucharistic prayer that omitted every mention of body and blood.

    Archive 2006-08-01

  • Able to fuse together both Chinese and Tibetan Buddhist identities, she taught at first as a laywoman and ordained as a bhikkhuni only in 1982 CE.

    A Summary Report of the 2007 International Congress on the Women's Role in the Sangha: Bhikshuni Vinaya and Ordination Lineages ��� Part Three: Day Two

  • The only recourse that the Catholic layman and laywoman has is to withhold financial contributions.

    CNN Transcript Apr 27, 2002

  • Through all of this, I have remind a faithful and active Catholic laywoman.

    CNN Transcript Jun 13, 2002

  • He ordered me to go back, and I said thanks be to Pas that I'm a laywoman now and don't have to obey, because I'm not going to let you run off alone like this, Your Cognizance, and get killed.

    Exodus From The Long Sun


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