anchorite

noun
an·​cho·​rite | \ ˈaŋ-kə-ˌrīt How to pronounce anchorite (audio) \
variants: or less commonly anchoret \ ˈaŋ-​kə-​ˌret How to pronounce anchoret (audio) \

Definition of anchorite

: a person who lives in seclusion usually for religious reasons

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from anchorite

anchoritic \ ˌaŋ-​kə-​ˈri-​tik How to pronounce anchoritic (audio) \ adjective
anchoritically \ ˌaŋ-​kə-​ˈri-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce anchoritically (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?

The term "anchor" was being used for religious hermits about 450 years before "anchorite" came into common use in our language. The reclusive "anchor" and "anchorite" are both derived from the Late Latin anachoreta, which, in turn, can be traced to the Greek anachōrein, meaning "to withdraw." Are they etymologically related to the kind of anchors you find on ships? Not exactly. The Latin root of sea-going "anchor," "anchora," probably influenced the spelling and pronunciation of the words that led to "anchorite" and the reclusive "anchor," but it is not a direct ancestor.

Examples of anchorite in a Sentence

many Christian saints were anchorites who removed themselves from the world to focus on their spirituality

Recent Examples on the Web

But there are certainly similarities between the anchorite and the handmaid. Annie Sutherland, Quartzy, "“The Handmaid’s Tale” costume is now the ultimate symbol of women’s rights," 13 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anchorite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of anchorite

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for anchorite

Middle English, from Medieval Latin anchorita, alteration of Late Latin anachoreta, from Late Greek anachōrētēs, from Greek anachōrein to withdraw, from ana- + chōrein to make room, from chōros place

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about anchorite

Listen to Our Podcast about anchorite

Statistics for anchorite

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for anchorite

The first known use of anchorite was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for anchorite

anchorite

noun

English Language Learners Definition of anchorite

: a religious person who lives apart from other people

More from Merriam-Webster on anchorite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with anchorite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for anchorite

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about anchorite

Comments on anchorite

What made you want to look up anchorite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

involving a confidence or trust

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Word Puzzles

  • alt 57589b2b4c6a3
  • Which answer pairs best with each of the following words? living, estate, club, music, road, mile
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!