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

  • n. A man who is a member of a brotherhood living in a monastery and devoted to a discipline prescribed by his order: a Carthusian monk; a Buddhist monk.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A male member of a monastic order who has devoted his life for religious service.
  • n. in earlier usage, an eremite or hermit devoted to solitude, as opposed to a cenobite, who lived communally.
  • n. A male who leads an isolated life; a loner, a hermit.
  • n. An unmarried man who does not have sexual relationships.
  • n. A judge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A man who retires from the ordinary temporal concerns of the world, and devotes himself to religion; one of a religious community of men inhabiting a monastery, and bound by vows to a life of chastity, obedience, and poverty.
  • n. A blotch or spot of ink on a printed page, caused by the ink not being properly distributed. It is distinguished from a friar, or white spot caused by a deficiency of ink.
  • n. A piece of tinder made of agaric, used in firing the powder hose or train of a mine.
  • n.
  • n. A South American monkey (Pithecia monachus); also applied to other species, as Cebus xanthocephalus.
  • n. The European bullfinch.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Originally, a man who retired from the world for religious meditation and the practice of religious duties in solitude; a religious hermit; in later use, a member of a community or fraternity of men formed for the practice of religious devotions and duties, and bound by the vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience to a superior; specifically, a regular male denizen of a monastery.
  • n. A name of various animals.
  • n. In printing, an over-inked spot or blotch in print, usually made by imperfect distribution of ink. Compare friar, 2.
  • n. Milit., a fuse for firing mines.
  • n. Synonyms Hermit, etc. See anchoret.

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

  • n. a male religious living in a cloister and devoting himself to contemplation and prayer and work
  • n. United States jazz pianist who was one of the founders of the bebop style (1917-1982)


Middle English munk, from Old English munuc, from Late Latin monachus, from Late Greek monakhos, from Greek, single, from monos; see men-4 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English munuc, from Latin monachus, from Ancient Greek μοναχός (monachos, "single, solitary"), from μόνος (monos, "alone") (Wiktionary)


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