Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    Persons in ecclesiastical orders; officers of the church; at one time, all persons who could read.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    The whole body of clergymen or ministers of religion. Also an abbreviation for "benefit of clergy." See Benefit.
    —Regular clergy. In old English law. Monks who lived secundum regulas (according to the rules) of their respective houses or societies were so denominated, in contradistinction to the parochial clergy, who performed their ministry in the world, tn seculo, and who from thence were called "secular" clergy. 1 Chit. Bl. 387, note.