cleric

A religious official or member of the clergy is also known as a cleric. The priest in an Episcopal church is a cleric, and so is a Muslim imam.

The term cleric is less common than clergyman and clergywoman, but when you're talking about a Christian or Muslim religious leader, it's a great word to use. Cleric comes from the Latin clericus, "priest," and its Greek root klēros, "inheritance or heritage." It shares these roots with clerk, a word that was originally a synonym of cleric but today more often means "a person working in an office."

Definitions of cleric
  1. noun
    a clergyman or other person in religious orders
    synonyms: churchman, divine, ecclesiastic
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    examples:
    Thomas a Kempis
    German ecclesiastic (1380-1471)
    Saint Bruno
    (Roman Catholic Church) a French cleric (born in Germany) who founded the Carthusian order in 1084 (1032-1101)
    types:
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    ordainer
    a cleric who ordains; a cleric who admits someone to holy orders
    pardoner
    a medieval cleric who raised money for the church by selling papal indulgences
    pluralist
    a cleric who holds more than one benefice at a time
    absolver
    someone who grants absolution
    type of:
    clergyman, man of the cloth, reverend
    a member of the clergy and a spiritual leader of the Christian Church
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