from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of, relating to, or characteristic of a monastery. Used often of monks and nuns.
  • adjective Resembling life in a monastery in style, structure, or manner, especially.
  • adjective Secluded and contemplative.
  • adjective Strictly disciplined or regimented.
  • adjective Self-abnegating; austere.
  • noun A monk.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to or characteristic of monks or nuns; ascetic: as, monastic life, vows, or practices.
  • Adapted to or suitable for monks or nuns; of ascetic character or use: as, monastic buildings or architecture; monastic seclusion.
  • An epithet noting a style of book-decoration in which medieval forms of compact ornament are strongly stamped on the sides or back of the book without any use of gold-leaf.
  • an abbot who was also a bishop; or
  • a monk consecrated bishop, resident in a monastery, and exercising his office in confirmations, ordinations, etc., but without jurisdiction.
  • noun A monk; a religious recluse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A monk.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to monasteries, or to their occupants, rules, etc., .
  • adjective Secluded from temporal concerns and devoted to religion; recluse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of or relating to monasteries or monks.
  • noun A person with monastic ways, e.g. monks.

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

  • noun a male religious living in a cloister and devoting himself to contemplation and prayer and work
  • adjective of communal life sequestered from the world under religious vows


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

[Middle English monastik, from Old French monastique, from Late Latin monasticus, from Late Greek monastikos, from Greek monazein, to live alone; see monastery.]


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