Definitions

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

  • noun A monastery church.
  • noun A large church, especially a collegiate church or a cathedral.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Originally, a monastery; afterward, the church of a monastery; also, from the fact that many such churches, especially in Great Britain, became cathedrals, a cathedral church which had such an origin: as, York minster; hence, any cathedral: as, the minster of Strasburg.

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

  • noun (Arch.) A church of a monastery. The name is often retained and applied to the church after the monastery has ceased to exist (), and is also improperly used for any large church.
  • noun the official house in which the canons of a cathedral live in common or in rotation.

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

  • noun a monastic church

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

  • noun any of certain cathedrals and large churches; originally connected to a monastery

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English mynster, from Vulgar Latin *monistērium, from Late Latin monastērium, monastery; see monastery.]

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