Dictionary: CLEPE – CLEW'ED

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CLEPE, v.t. [or i. Sax. clepan, cleopan, clypan, to cry out; W. clepiaw, to clack.]

To call, or name. [Obs.] – Shak.

CLEP-SAM'MIA, n. [Gr. κλεπτω, to hide, to steal, and αμμος, sand.]

An instrument for measuring time by sand, like an hour glass. – Brown.

CLEP'SY-DRA, n. [L. from Gr. κλεψυδρα; κλεπτω, to steal, to hide, and ὑδωρ, water.]

  1. A time-piece used by the Greeks and Romans, which measured time by the discharge of a certain quantity of water. Also, a fountain in Greece.
  2. A chimical vessel.


Pertaining to the clergy. [Not used.] [See Clerical.] – Milton.

CLER'GY, n. [Fr. clergé; Norm. clerkus, clerex, clergy, or clerks, and clergie, literature; Arm. cloer, the plural of cloarecq, a clerk; Corn. cloireg; Ir. cleir, clergy, and cleirrioch, a clerk or clergyman; L. clerus, clericus, which would seem to be from the Gr. κληρος, lot or portion, inheritance, estate, and the body of those who perform sacred duties; whence, κληροω, to choose by lot, to make a clerk, clericum facere. In 1 Peter v. 3, the word in the plural seems to signify the church or body of believers; it is rendered God's heritage. In W. cler signifies teachers or learned men of the druidical order; clerig, belonging to the cler, clerical. It. Sp. clero, from the Latin. The application of this word to ministers or ecclesiastical teachers seems to have originated in their possessions, or separate allotments of land; or from the Old Testament denomination of the priests, for the tribe of Levi is there called the lot, heritage, or inheritance of the Lord.]

  1. The body of men set apart, and consecrated, by due ordination, to the service of God, in the Christian church; the body of ecclesiastics, in distinction from the laity. – Hooker. Encyc.
  2. The privilege or benefit of clergy. If convicted of a clergyable felony, he is entitled equally to his clergy after as before conviction. – Blackstone. Benefit of clergy, in English law, originally the exemption of the persons of clergymen from criminal process before a secular judge; or a privilege by which a clerk or person in orders claimed to be delivered to his ordinary to purge himself of felony. But this privilege has been abridged and modified by various statutes. See Blackstone, b. 4, ch. 28. In the United States, no benefit of clergy exists.


Entitled to or admitting the benefit of clergy; as, a clergyable felony. Blackstone.


A man in holy orders; a man licensed to preach the gospel, according to the forms and rules of any particular denomination of Christians.


A clerk or clergyman. – Horsley.

CLER'IC-AL, a. [L. clericus; Gr. κληρικος. See Clergy and Clerk.]

Relating or pertaining to the clergy; as, clerical tonsure; clerical robes; clerical duties. – Blackstone.

CLERK, n. [Sax. cleric, clerc, clere; L. clericus; Gr. κληρικος. See Clergy.]

  1. A clergyman, or ecclesiastic; a man in holy orders. – Ayliffe.
  2. A man that can read. Every one that could read … being accounted a clerk. – Blackstone.
  3. A man of letters; a scholar. – Sidney. South. The foregoing significations are found in the English laws, and histories of the church; as in the rude ages of the church, learning was chiefly confined to the clergy. In modern usage,
  4. A writer; one who is employed in the use of the pen, in an office public or private, for keeping records, and accounts; as, the clerk of a court. In some cases clerk is synonymous with secretary; but not always. A clerk is always an officer subordinate to a higher officer, board, corporation or person; whereas, a secretary may be either a subordinate officer, or the head of an office or department.
  5. A layman who is the reader of responses in church service. – Johnson.

CLERK'-ALE, n. [clerk and ale.]

In England, the feast of the parish clerk. – Warton.


Ignorant, unlearned. – Waterhouse.


Like a clerk; learned. – Shak.


Scholarlike. – Cranmer.

CLERK'LY, adv.

In a learned manner. – Gascoigne.


  1. A state of being in holy orders. – Blackstone.
  2. Scholarship. – Johnson.
  3. The office or business of a clerk or writer. – Swift.

CLER'O-MAN-CY, n. [Gr. κληρος, lot, and μαντεια, divination.]

A divination by throwing dice or little bones, and observing the points or marks turned up. – Bailey.

CLEVE, or CLIF, n. [or CLIVE,]

in the composition of names, denote a place situated on or near a cliff, on the side of a hill, rock or precipice; as, Cleveland, Clifton.

CLEV'ER, a. [I know not the radical letters of this word. If the elements are clb, or lb, the affinities may be Russ. lovkie, convenient, dextrous, ulovka, dexterity, craft, lovlyu, to take or seize, as if allied to Gothic lofa, Ir. lamb, W. llaw, the hand. In Ir. lub is a thong or loop, a plait or fold, and craft, cunning; lubach, sly, crafty; lubam, to bend. In Eth. ለባዊ labawi, signifies ingenious, ready, skillful, and the verb, to understand, or be skillful. If v in clever is from g, as in many other words, the affinities may be Sax. gleaw, knowing, skillful, industrious, wise, which is the G. klug, D. kloek, Dan. klog, Sw. klok. Let the reader judge.]

  1. Fit; suitable; convenient; proper; commodious. – Pope.
  2. Dextrous; adroit; ready; that performs with skill or address. – Addison.
  3. In New England, good-natured, possessing an agreeable mind or disposition. In Great Britain, this word is applied to the body or its movements, in its literal sense; in America, it is applied chiefly to the mind, temper, disposition. In Great Britain, a clever man is a dextrous man, one who performs an act with skill or address. In New England, a clever man is a man of a pleasing, obliging disposition, and amiable manners, but often implying a moderate share of talents. Fitness, suitableness, gives both senses analogically; the former applied to the body; the latter, to the mind, or its qualities. It is a colloquial word, but sometimes found in respectable writings. In some of the United States, it is said this word is applied to the intellect, denoting ingenious, knowing, discerning.

CLEV'ER-LY, adv.

Fitly; dextrously; handsomely. – Butler.


  1. Dexterity; adroitness; skill. – Johnson.
  2. Mildness or agreeableness of disposition; obligingness; good nature. – New England.

CLEV'Y, or CLEV'IS, n. [Qu. L. clavis.]

An iron bent to the form of an ox-bow, with the two ends perforated to receive a pin, used on the end of a cart-neap to hold the chain of the forward horse or oxen; or a draft iron on a plow. – New England.

CLEW, n. [Sax. cleow, cliwe; D. kluwen; G. kloben; L. globus. The word signifies a ball or a lump. In Welsh, clob is a knob or boss; clwpa is a club or knob; clap is a lump; all from roots in lb; llob, a lump, a lubber.]

  1. A ball of thread. – Spenser.
  2. The thread that forms a ball; the thread that is used to guide a person in a labyrinth. Hence, any thing that guides or directs one in an intricate case. – Watts.
  3. The lower corner of a square sail, and the aftmost corner of a stay sail. – Mar. Dict.

CLEW, v.t.

  1. In seamanship, to truss up to the yard, by means of clew-garnets or clew-lines, in order to furling.
  2. To direct.

CLEW'ED, pp.

Trussed up, as sails.