Definition of unclergyable in English:


Pronunciation /(ˌ)ʌnˈkləːdʒɪəbl/ /(ˌ)ʌŋˈkləːdʒɪəbl/


historical, rare Law
  • Of an offence: not clergyable; not admitting of a plea of benefit of clergy, and therefore not allowing of a more lenient sentence.

    For certain offences it was permissible, until the Criminal Law Act 1827, to plead ‘benefit of clergy’, a privilege originally intended to allow clergymen exemption from trial by a secular court, and later gradually extended in scope to become a means by which first-time offenders on lesser charges could obtain a more lenient sentence.


Early 19th century. From un- + clergyable.