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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. A monk; a religious recluse.

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
  • adj. 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.


  • He was very demanding with himself and others in monastic observance, but rather than imposing discipline he sought to make people follow it by persuasion , the Pope explained.


  • Such occurrences mark time in monastic life and find their way into the vitae.

    Sensual Encounters: Monastic Women and Spirituality in Medieval Germany

  • The nuns built and rebuilt their churches and monastic compounds as funds allowed, adding new dormitories as their membership increased or the fashion in monastic sleeping arrangements shifted from common rooms to individual cells.

    Sensual Encounters: Monastic Women and Spirituality in Medieval Germany

  • Early examples of the genre often depicted real or imagined debates between a heretic and a Catholic and originated primarily in monastic communities, from the pens of such prestigious abbots as Bernard of Clairvaux and Peter the Venerable.

    A Tender Age: Cultural Anxieties over the Child in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries

  • It was a sunless afternoon, and the picture was all in monastic shades of black and white and ashen grey: the sick under their earth-coloured blankets, their livid faces against the pillows, the black dresses of the women (they seemed all to be in mourning) and the silver haze floating out from the little acolyte's censer.

    Fighting France

  • In an appendix we have scheduled the chief classics found in English monastic catalogues to indicate roughly the extent to which they were collected and used.

    Old English Libraries; The Making, Collection and Use of Books During the Middle Ages

  • He was the first, moreover, to establish an extraordinary and permanent tribunal for heresy trials -- an institution which afterwards became known as the monastic

    The Inquisition A Critical and Historical Study of the Coercive Power of the Church

  • The upper part of the face is innocent, the hair cropped round the head; the face is beardless and the expression monastic, but between the nose and mouth there is a broad slope, and the lips, parting in a straight gash, wear a smile, which as we look seems just a little impudent, just

    The Cathedral

  • In these modern times, when man's fair sister is asking admission at the doors of classic halls, where man has hitherto reigned in monastic solitude, the query is often raised by our modern sociologists, Can man and woman, with propriety, pursue their studies together?

    Oldtown Folks

  • Etchmiatzin, or Utch Kilisiya, meaning Three Churches, as it is termed by the Turks and Persians, consists of nothing but three very plain monastic buildings or churches, situated in the midst of barren plains.

    Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.