the group or body of ordained persons in a religion, as distinguished from the laity.
Contemporary Examples

After the initial shock, a lightbulb came on among the clergy.
The Neighboring Movement: A Simple, Radical Idea Joshua DuBois May 4, 2013

Friday speech by different government organizations and some members of the clergy.
Memo from the Streets of Tehran, Part III Parvez Sharma June 19, 2009

Ultra-Orthodox Jews, including children as young as 8, spit at members of the clergy on a daily basis, Rev. Pizzaballa said.
Vatican Official Blasts Extremists in Israel After Monastery Attack The Telegraph September 8, 2012

He has the right to visit with clergy, but had not requested any.
Waiting for the Firing Squad Pia Ringheim Jensen June 16, 2010

Everyone in the secular press has their favorite, and they are easily wined and dined as much as the clergy.
Pope Fever Grips Rome Barbie Latza Nadeau March 3, 2013

Historical Examples

No President, probably, was ever so much annoyed by the clergy as Lincoln.
Abraham Lincoln: Was He A Christian? John B. Remsburg

Well would it be if all the clergy were as sweet-tempered as that Bishop of Helstonleigh!
The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood

But our clergy have prayers to be feared by the upholders of wrong.
Charles Sumner; his Complete Works, v. 4-20 Charles Sumner

The Prefect of the Department, the Bishop, the clergy, objected to her story.
The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete Emile Zola

The great quarrel between the parliament and the clergy was then at its height.
The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Complete Jean Jacques Rousseau

noun (pl) -gies
the collective body of men and women ordained as religious ministers, esp of the Christian Church related adjectives clerical pastoral

c.1200, clergie “office or dignity of a clergyman,” from two Old French words: 1. clergié “clerics, learned men,” from Medieval Latin clericatus, from Late Latin clericus (see clerk); 2. clergie “learning, knowledge, erudition,” from clerc, also from Late Latin clericus. Meaning “persons ordained for religious work” is from c.1300.

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