Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person who has retired into seclusion for religious reasons.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One who lives in isolation or seclusion, especially for religious reasons.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as anchoret.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See anchoret.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. one retired from society for religious reasons

Etymologies

Middle English, from Medieval Latin anchōrīta, from Late Latin anachōrēta, from Late Greek anakhōrētēs, from anakhōrein, to retire : ana-, ana- + khōrein, to make room for, withdraw (from khōros, place; see ghē- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἀναχωρητής (anakhōrētēs, "anchoret"), from ἀναχωρέω (anakhōreō, "I withdraw, retire"), via Latin anachorēta ("anchorite"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Applying the term anchorite to me is perhaps a juster comparison than you think.

    The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters

  • The only room which suggested nothing of the anchorite was the dressing-room, furnished with all the comforts and conveniences necessary to an elegant and fastidious man of the world.

    Zibeline — Complete

  • The only room which suggested nothing of the anchorite was the dressing - room, furnished with all the comforts and conveniences necessary to an elegant and fastidious man of the world.

    Zibeline — Volume 2

  • O'Brien's biographer Anthony Cronin notes of his student days that most of his friends "regarded him as a natural celibate, even a kind of anchorite ... the cells of whose hermitage were the pubs, from which women were for the most part debarred."

    Oblomov in Dublin

  • 'anchorite' passed his lonely existence in the spot in question.

    Chatterbox, 1905.

  • My writing partner is pretty much an anchorite, and she seems to do pretty well. * g* (Hi, Sarah!)

    April 22nd, 2009

  • The anchorite in the Syrian desert, subsisting on locusts and honey, does not react to being on his own the same way as the socialite suddenly abandoned for one reason or another by his or her acquaintances and who can no longer frequent the scenes of gaiety that gave meaning to his or her life.

    In Chile, the Lessons of Isolation

  • The anchorite said she paid them to take her into the desert though.

    A Good Place for Graves « A Fly in Amber

  • This struck the editor of the newspaper as an extraordinary circumstance; so extraordinary in fact, rather like having been an anchorite in the Syrian desert subsisting on locusts and honey, that he contacted me to ask whether I would agree to having a television installed in my home so that I could tell readers, after a week of watching it, what I thought of it.

    2010 February « Anglican Samizdat

  • He sends most of his salary, and lives like an anchorite.

    The Sheriff of Kona

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  • "When Henry David Thoreau escaped Concord and retired to Walden Pond to lead by example and live as an anchorite in the woods, demanding that people start their lives anew, he was not only passing judgement on the society of Concord, he was consciously enacting a peculiarly American story."
    —James Campbell, The Final Frontiersman (New York and London: Atria Books, 2004), 152

    September 17, 2008