The body of people ordained for religious service. See Usage Note at collective noun.(noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Use "clergy" in a sentence
"But ascetics, nuns, and unordained members of religious associations of men were not originally in the ranks of the clergy, and, strictly speaking, are not so even to-day, though, on account of their closer and more special dependence on ecclesiastical authority, they have long been included under the title clergy in its wider sense (see RELIGIOUS)."
"First, the word "clergy" is essential to any understanding of what the Supreme Court did in the Hosanna-Tabor case, because that word has a special meaning in the Court's constitutional perception."
"The function of the clergy is essential and irreplaceable in announcing the Word and celebrating the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. ..."