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[kler-uh-see] /ˈklɛr ə si/

learned persons as a class; literati; intelligentsia.

1818, on model of German clerisei, from Late Latin clericia, related to clericus (see cleric); coined by Coleridge “to express a notion no longer associated with CLERGY” [OED].


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  • Clerk

    [klurk; British klahrk] /klɜrk; British klɑrk/ noun 1. a person employed, as in an office, to keep records, file, type, or perform other general office tasks. 2. a salesclerk. 3. a person who keeps the records and performs the routine business of a court, legislature, board, etc. 4. . 5. a member of the clergy; […]

  • Clerkess

    /klɑːˈkɛs/ noun 1. a female office clerk

  • Clerkly

    [klurk-lee; British klahrk-lee] /ˈklɜrk li; British ˈklɑrk li/ adjective, clerklier, clerkliest. 1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a clerk. 2. Archaic. . adverb 3. in the manner of a clerk. /ˈklɑːklɪ/ adjective -lier, -liest 1. of or like a clerk 2. (obsolete) learned adverb 3. (obsolete) in the manner of a clerk

  • Clerk of works

    noun 1. an employee who supervises building work in progress or the upkeep of existing buildings

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