Definition of anticlerical in English:

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Pronunciation: /antɪˈklɛrɪk(ə)l/
chiefly historical


Opposed to the power or influence of the clergy, especially in politics.
Example sentences
  • The Church exploited to the full the political implications of anticlerical legislation.
  • It was one response to the powerful tide of socialist, anticlerical thought, particularly powerful at the end of the First World War.
  • Despite his obvious personal interest in the revolution of 1399, he was also a vigorous defender of the English church from heresy and anticlerical threats.


A person holding anticlerical views.
Example sentences
  • Both clerics and anticlericals agree that Slovenia's conservatives suffer from the loss of a generation of potential leaders.
  • Emerging from the earlier Reformers with the creation of the Canadian Confederation, its initial support was based on a coalition between Ontario Nonconformists and Quebec anticlericals.
  • The Protestant Reformation enlisted widespread lay support by its politically motivated aversion to the monastic ideal, which lay anticlericals opposed as absorbing too much wealth in support of its institutions.



Pronunciation: /ˌantɪˈklɛrɪk(ə)lɪz(ə)m/
Example sentences
  • When Mexico did achieve independence in 1821 under the rule of Agustin de Iturbide, the Mexican clergy gave thanks to Our Lady of Guadalupe for saving the Mexican church from the anticlericalism of the Spanish Cortes.
  • Some priests even worried that the teaching on birth control was generating the kind of anticlericalism among American Catholics that had hitherto been characteristic of Europe.
  • Puccini, Nicassio argues, portrays the period rather accurately, albeit through the critical lens of liberal anticlericalism that he and many in his late nineteenth-century audience shared.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: anti|cler¦ic¦al

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