layman

A layman might have a small amount of knowledge about something, but she isn't officially trained in the subject. If you need brain surgery, don't consult a layman; stick to a professional brain surgeon.

Use the noun layman to describe your brother, who is an amateur bird watcher rather than a professional ornithologist. The word layman is most often used to contrast with expert or professional. Another way to use it is to distinguish between a member of the clergy — a priest or minister, for example — and an ordinary church member, or layman.

Definitions of layman
1

n someone who is not a clergyman or a professional person

Synonyms:
layperson, secular
Antonyms:
clergyman, man of the cloth, reverend
a member of the clergy and a spiritual leader of the Christian Church
Types:
lay reader
a layman who is authorized by the bishop to read parts of the service in an Anglican or Episcopal church
Type of:
common man, common person, commoner
a person who holds no title

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.