What does the word laity mean?

Usage examples for laity

  1. I have no doubt of the orthodox opinion of many, both of the clergy and laity, professing the established religion in Ireland, and of many even amongst the Dissenters, relative to the great points of the Christian faith: but that orthodoxy concerns them only as individuals. – The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VI. (of 12) by Edmund Burke
  2. By the laity of Milby and its neighbourhood he was regarded as a man of quite remarkable powers and learning, who must make a considerable sensation in London pulpits and drawing- rooms on his occasional visit to the metropolis; and by his brother clergy he was regarded as a discreet and agreeable fellow. – Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot
  3. I recognise, therefore, that the educational grievances of the laity are much more pressing than those of the clergy ... – Ireland In The New Century by Horace Plunkett