men·​di·​cant | \ ˈmen-di-kənt How to pronounce mendicant (audio) \

Definition of mendicant

1 : beggar sense 1 wandering mendicants
2 often capitalized : a member of a religious order (such as the Franciscans) combining monastic life and outside religious activity and originally owning neither personal nor community property : friar

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from mendicant

mendicant adjective

Synonyms for mendicant


beggar, panhandler

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of mendicant in a Sentence

those wretched mendicants on the streets of Calcutta

Recent Examples on the Web

But for all of their contempt, Egyptian rulers have become mendicants at the feet of the kings, emirs and sultans of the Gulf. The Economist, "A wild rideRadical reforms in Saudi Arabia are changing the Gulf and the Arab world," 21 June 2018

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

First Known Use of mendicant

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mendicant

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin mendicant-, mendicans, present participle of mendicare to beg, from mendicus beggar — more at amend

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mendicant

Share mendicant

Statistics for mendicant

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mendicant

The first known use of mendicant was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mendicant



English Language Learners Definition of mendicant

formal : someone (such as a member of a religious group) who lives by asking people for money or food

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on mendicant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mendicant

Spanish Central: Translation of mendicant

Nglish: Translation of mendicant for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about mendicant

Comments on mendicant

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


a shady place in a garden or forest

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!