• A distinct class of learned or literary people.

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Example Sentences

“Members of the clerisy make time to read daily.”

“Edgar tried to make his writing accessible to all audiences, not just the clerisy.”

“Only the clerisy received an invitation to the literary society.”

Word Origin

Greek, early 19th century

Why this word?

The word “clerisy” was first introduced by poet and writer Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He was likely influenced by the German word for “clergy” (“Klerisei”) and the Greek word for “heritage” (“klēros”). Coleridge believed that creating a class of learned, literary intellectuals would be key for humanity’s survival. As evidenced by the careful reasoning behind the creation of this word, Coleridge was as much a critic and literary analyst as he was an artistic soul.

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