from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The monastic life or system, especially as practiced in a monastery.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. the religious practice of renouncing all worldly pursuits in order to fully devote one's life to spiritual work
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The monastic life, system, or condition.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The corporate life of religious communities under the vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience to a superior; the monastic system or condition.
- n. The condition or state of living like a monk, in religious retirement from the world.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. asceticism as a form of religious life; usually conducted in a community under a common rule and characterized by celibacy and poverty and obedience
From Greek μοναχός (a solitary person). (Wiktionary)