her·mit | \ˈhər-mət \

Definition of hermit 

1a : one that retires from society and lives in solitude especially for religious reasons : recluse

b obsolete : beadsman

2 : a spiced molasses cookie

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Other Words from hermit

hermitism \ˈhər-mə-ˌti-zəm \ noun

Synonyms for hermit


recluse, solitary

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Examples of hermit in a Sentence

St. Jerome is said to have spent two years as a hermit in the desert, searching for inner peace.

Recent Examples on the Web

Bikepacking, which partly traces its roots to Mike Curiak’s 2003 individual time trial on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, has long been the realm of iconoclasts and hermits trying to escape alone into the woods. Aaron Gulley, Outside Online, "Bikepacking.com Is Revolutionizing the Sport," 20 June 2018 The festival is held four times over 12 years and attracts a broad range of Hindus including sadhus (holy men), some of whom live the life of a hermit in remote areas the remainder of the time. Phil Marty, chicagotribune.com, "Finding religion in India, tracing the steps of Portuguese explorers and more," 26 Apr. 2018 Despite the risk of skin cancer, staying safe doesn’t mean being a hermit during the summer months. Fox News, "Here's how damaging a bad sunburn can be," 7 July 2018 North Korea’s ability to carry out highly disruptive cyberattacks against the United States and its allies is one of the hermit country's most powerful assets. Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, "The Cybersecurity 202: North Korea is even less likely to give up hacking than nukes," 1 June 2018 There are ways to overcome creativity blocks at work that don’t involve an off-the-grid hermit lifestyle. Bloomberg.com, "Why a Digital Detox Won’t Solve All Your Problems," 4 Oct. 2017 Like hermits, microbes need only be concerned with feeding themselves; neither coordination nor cooperation with others is necessary, though some microbes occasionally join forces. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "The momentous transition to multicellular life may not have been so hard after all," 28 June 2018 There were extensive discussions of a potential luxury-real-estate boom in a hermit kingdom where half the population lives in extreme poverty. Jay Willis, GQ, "Donald Trump Got the Only Thing He Wanted," 12 June 2018 For See -- who runs Choson Exchange, a non-profit group that trains North Koreans on entrepreneurship -- the experience was an illustration of the lack of transparency and accountability commonplace in the hermit kingdom. Serene Cheong, Bloomberg.com, "The Man Who Teaches North Koreans About Business," 12 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of hermit

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for hermit

Middle English heremite, eremite, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin eremita, from Late Greek erēmitēs, from Greek, adjective, living in the desert, from erēmia desert, from erēmos desolate

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Statistics for hermit

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for hermit

The first known use of hermit was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for hermit



English Language Learners Definition of hermit

: a person who lives in a simple way apart from others especially for religious reasons


her·mit | \ˈhər-mət \

Kids Definition of hermit

: a person who lives apart from others especially for religious reasons

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Comments on hermit

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


one that holds something together

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