her·​mit | \ ˈhər-mət How to pronounce hermit (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from hermit

hermitism \ ˈhər-​mə-​ˌti-​zəm How to pronounce hermitism (audio) \ noun

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

The reclusive architect should get off her hermit ass and build. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” Is at Cate Blanchett’s Command," 16 Aug. 2019 That team examined the hermit and 15 other bird geoglyphs in detail, noting the shapes and relative sizes of their beaks, heads, necks, bodies, wings, and feet. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "New study takes a bird’s-eye view of the Nasca Lines," 20 June 2019 Virgo is the sign of the hermit in the Tarot cards. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Gary Duncan, psychedelic guitarist in Quicksilver Messenger Service, dies at 72," 1 July 2019 Today, it is known as Peter’s Rock, named after Peter Brockett, a soldier severely wounded in the American Revolution who lived out his life as a hermit at the base of the rock. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "The ruins of the Hermitage and the spectacular views from Peter’s Rock in North Haven," 19 July 2019 Kim has been accused of rampant human rights abuses and the murder of former aides during his time as the hermit country's authoritarian leader. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Tucker Carlson defends Trump's meeting with Kim Jong Un, says leading a country "means killing people"," 1 July 2019 The earliest Byzantine structure in Calabria was built by hermits who lived in the hills. Frances Mayes, National Geographic, "Discover Italy’s most delicious secret," 11 July 2019 But the stress of Seth Vredenburg’s job as a veterinarian was making him a hermit. oregonlive.com, "Oregon tackles the veterinary suicide crisis, starting with the stigma," 10 July 2019 The Secret Rise and Rule of Kim Jong Un' by the Washington Post’s Anna Fifield, claims the reclusive childhood and teenage years of Kim may have paved the way for his tyrannical rule of the nuclear-armed hermit kingdom. Fox News, "Kim Jong Un was quick-tempered teen with limited academic abilities, kicked and spat on his classmates, book reveals," 18 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hermit

Statistics for hermit

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hermit

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce hermit (audio) \

Kids Definition of hermit

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on hermit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hermit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hermit

Spanish Central: Translation of hermit

Nglish: Translation of hermit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hermit for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hermit

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).


recurring in steady succession

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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