Definitions

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

  • n. Eastern Orthodox Church A cleric ranking below a bishop.
  • n. Eastern Orthodox Church The head of a monastery or a group of monasteries.
  • n. Eastern Orthodox Church Used as an honorific title for an unmarried priest.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The superior of a large monastery, or group of monasteries, in the Orthodox Church.
  • n. An honorary title sometimes given to a monastic priest.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A chief of a monastery, corresponding to abbot in the Roman Catholic church.
  • n. A superintendent of several monasteries, corresponding to superior abbot, or father provincial, in the Roman Catholic church.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In the Eastern Church, an abbot-general, having other abbots (hegoumenoi) with their monasteries under his superintendence; also sometimes, especially among the Greeks, the abbot of a single large monastery.

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

  • n. the superior of an abbey of monks

Etymologies

Late Latin archimandrīta, from Late Greek arkhimandrītēs : Greek arkhi-, archi- + Late Greek mandra, monastery (from Greek, cattle pen).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin archimandrīta, from late Ancient Greek αρχιμανδρίτης (archimandrites), from αρχι- (archi-, "archi-") + μάνδρα (mandra, "enclosure, monastery"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Originally there seems to have been no appreciable difference in the signification of these two words, but after the period of Justinian the title archimandrite was jealously reserved for the superiors of the older or of the more important monasteries.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 1: Aachen-Assize

  • There was an intermediate period (from about the sixth to the ninth centuries) during which the title archimandrite was given as a purely personal honour to certain hegumenoi without involving any exemption from the monastery.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mass Music-Newman

  • The archimandrite was the center of the Union, but Hurkyl was one of the keystones of that group, as well as Feldon and, despite himself, Drafna.

    The Brothers' War

  • The laurœ, and convents, had each its own superior, sometimes called archimandrite, and sometimes hegumenos, terms synonymous in the beginning, but soon differentiated.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 6: Fathers of the Church-Gregory XI

  • Asia Minor and among the Greeks generally he was called archimandrite

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 1: Aachen-Assize

  • The title "archimandrite" appears to be given now to abbots of the more important monasteries and also sometimes as a personal title of distinction to others.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mass Music-Newman

  • And he remembered all whom he had injured, and desired to make them restitution; he began to give away money without stint, so that his wife and the archimandrite even had to restrain him; “for that is enough,” they said.

    A Raw Youth

  • And everything, one may say, was at his beck and call, and even those in authority hindered him in nothing, and the archimandrite thanked him for his zeal: he gave freely of his substance to the monastery, and when the fit came upon him he sighed and groaned over his soul and was troubled not a little over the life to come.

    A Raw Youth

  • The archimandrite marvelled, but with that he went away.

    A Raw Youth

  • And not only did they arrive unharmed at the Setch, but they brought a gold-embroidered vesture for the archimandrite at the Mezhigorsky

    Taras Bulba

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