mon·​as·​tery | \ ˈmä-nə-ˌster-ē How to pronounce monastery (audio) \
plural monasteries

Definition of monastery

: a house for persons under religious vows especially : an establishment for monks

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Synonyms for monastery


abbey, cloister, friary, hermitage, priory

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Examples of monastery in a Sentence

Gregory Mendel worked out his concepts of genetics by doing breeding experiments using pea plants in the monastery's garden.

Recent Examples on the Web

Maximilian HorsleyArakan TravelHe takes travelers deep into the countryside for market tours, monastery visits, and encounters with hill tribes and with insiders who can contextualize the country’s ongoing internal conflicts. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "2018 Top Travel Specialists We Trust," 19 Oct. 2018 Chopin composed roughly half of the preludes in the monastery. Michael O’donnell, WSJ, "‘Chopin’s Piano’ Review: Postscript to the Preludes," 16 Aug. 2018 Think medieval monasteries, villages, breweries, beer drinkers, beer makers, beer experts, and people getting together, ignoring their differences, and enjoying beer. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "We Made a Beer Documentary and You Can Pre-Order It Now," 27 Feb. 2019 The canary-colored 16th-century monastery at the center of town was built on top of a Mesoamerican temple, and the color yellow continues to pay homage to the region’s Mayan roots. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 25 most colorful cities in the world," 19 Feb. 2019 More than 16,000 square feet of exhibition space will live inside and underneath the reimagined remnants of a 12th-century monastery, which became a brewery in the 1800s before falling into disuse. Natalia Rachlin, WSJ, "A New Museum is Putting This Swiss Alps Town on the Map," 12 Dec. 2018 In November 2018, Islamic militants opened fire on two buses carrying Coptic Christians on a pilgrimage to an ancient monastery in Upper Egypt, killing seven and wounding 14. Marlo Safi, WSJ, "Is Sisi Good for Egypt’s Christians?," 10 Jan. 2019 After a night of heavy drinking, the Night Wolves started their Russian Balkan Tour with a visit to Velika Remeta, an Orthodox monastery founded in the 14th century near the Serbian town of Novi Sad. Andrew Higgins, New York Times, "Russia’s Feared ‘Night Wolves’ Bike Gang Came to Bosnia. Bosnia Giggled.," 31 Mar. 2018 The event took place at the historic Hartland Abbey, which is a former monastery and dates back to the 12th Century. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Everything You Forgot Happened at Prince William's Bachelor Party," 27 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'monastery.' 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 monastery

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for monastery

Middle English monasterie, from Late Latin monasterium, from Late Greek monastērion, from Greek, hermit's cell, from monazein to live alone, from monos single — more at monk

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Last Updated

22 Mar 2019

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

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English Language Learners Definition of monastery

: a place where monks live and work together


mon·​as·​tery | \ ˈmä-nə-ˌster-ē How to pronounce monastery (audio) \
plural monasteries

Kids Definition of monastery

: a place where a community of monks lives and works

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Comments on monastery

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


a shady place in a garden or forest

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