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(Historical Terms) the first of the three estates of the realm, such as the Lords Spiritual in England or the clergy in France until the revolution
the first of the three estates: the clergy in France or the Lords Spiritual in England. Compare estate (def. 6).
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|Noun||1.||first estate - the clergy in France and the heads of the church in Britain|
estate of the realm, the three estates, estate - a major social class or order of persons regarded collectively as part of the body politic of the country (especially in the United Kingdom) and formerly possessing distinct political rights
Britain, Great Britain, U.K., UK, United Kingdom, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - a monarchy in northwestern Europe occupying most of the British Isles; divided into England and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland; `Great Britain' is often used loosely to refer to the United Kingdom