Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


He spoke proudly, defiantly, looking the cleric full in the face.

It matters not to us whom Cleric follows, so long as we may follow Cleric!

Sarka dimmed the light of Cleric, who instantly made answer.

"Go on with your story," said M'Iver, sharply, to the cleric.

"I am obliged to you for that, kinsman," said his lordship in Gaelic, with a by-your-leave to the cleric.

A cleric who married flinched from the standard of his calling, in the view of the church.

Cleric had ordered it for me when he was sending for books from abroad.

Cleric said he thought Virgil, when he was dying at Brindisi, must have remembered that passage.

Cleric wrote my grandfather that he would like to take me East with him.

It was a reputable sort of a book this, and fathered by a respected Oxford cleric.


1620s (also in early use as an adjective), from Church Latin clericus "clergyman, priest," noun use of adjective meaning "priestly, belonging to the clerus;" from Ecclesiastical Greek klerikos "pertaining to an inheritance," but in Greek Christian jargon by 2c., "of the clergy, belonging to the clergy," as opposed to the laity; from kleros "a lot, allotment; piece of land; heritage, inheritance," originally "a shard or wood chip used in casting lots," related to klan "to break" (see clastic).

Kleros was used by early Greek Christians for matters relating to ministry, based on Deut. xviii:2 reference to Levites as temple assistants: "Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the Lord is their inheritance," kleros being used as a translation of Hebrew nahalah "inheritance, lot." Or else it is from the use of the word in Acts i:17. A word taken up in English after clerk (n.) shifted to its modern meaning.



Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.