mendicant

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

Definition of mendicant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

mendicant

adjective

Definition of mendicant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : practicing beggary : engaged in begging Past the Winter Garden where Cats plays on … past the half-hour photo store, past the mendicant saxophone player on the corner.— Margot Hornblower My father also gave me quarters to give to homeless, mendicant men along the route, even though our family was very poor.— Phil Kronk
2 : of, relating to, belonging to, or constituting a religious order combining monastic life and outside religious activity and originally owning neither personal nor community property mendicant friars Friars should not be confused with monks. Members of the mendicant orders are friars, and include Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians, Servites and Carmelites.— Leslie Sellers

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Synonyms for mendicant

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of mendicant in a Sentence

Noun those wretched mendicants on the streets of Calcutta
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The fortunes of alphabetical order were further advanced by the growth of mendicant preaching orders. Katherine A. Powers, WSJ, "‘A Place for Everything’ Review: Ordering the Universe," 16 Oct. 2020 Francis is the first pope to name himself after the mendicant friar, who renounced a wealthy, dissolute lifestyle to embrace a life of poverty and service to the poor. CBS News, "Pope says pandemic has exposed market capitalism's failure," 5 Oct. 2020 Created in 2012 by the Dominicans, a Catholic mendicant order, Optic has the goal of ensuring that emerging technologies respect human dignity. Rebecca Heilweil, Fortune, "Deliver Us From A.I.? This Priest-Led Network Aims to Shepherd Silicon Valley Tech Ethics," 24 Nov. 2019 The convent houses the nearly 800-year-old tomb of Saint Francis, the most poetic of holy men, who thought money was worth less than asses’ dung and inspired a mendicant order. The Economist, "Popenomics," 7 Sep. 2019 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 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.

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First Known Use of mendicant

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for mendicant

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for mendicant

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

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Cite this Entry

“Mendicant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mendicant. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for mendicant

mendicant

noun

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

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