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mo·​nas·​tic mə-ˈna-stik How to pronounce monastic (audio)
: of or relating to monasteries or to monks or nuns
the rituals of monastic life
: resembling (as in seclusion or ascetic simplicity) life in a monastery
shows a monastic dedication to his job
monastically adverb
monasticism noun


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plural monastics
: a member of a monastic order : a person (such as a monk) who lives under religious vows
Monastics are people who … every day try hard to become part of a community—to relinquish aspects of the very egoism the rest of us spend our lives, in various ways, trying to enhance.Robert Coles

Example Sentences

Adjective He founded a monastic order in Belgium. He shows a monastic dedication to his job. She studied for the test with monastic zeal.
Recent Examples on the Web
Slavery and the American Revolution, notes of a social climber, monastic distractions, a French thriller and more. Harold Holzer, WSJ, 20 Jan. 2023 Iyer writes about both that secular market for paradise and the religious pursuit of heaven or Nirvana in distant, monastic destinations for the faithful. Bilal Qureshi, Washington Post, 19 Jan. 2023 But my near-monastic life in San Bernardino did afford me plenty of time to listen intently to my albums, day after day. San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Jan. 2023 The interior of mission control was monastic and methodical, but just outside it the crowd chattered, laughed and swayed, creating a skittish atmosphere of nervous energy. David W. Brown, New York Times, 29 Dec. 2022 The New Melleray Trappists will be at home with their monastic family, too. The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Dec. 2022 Residences include the monastic Antwerp apartment of Belgian designer Vincent Van Duysen (who designed Kim Kardashian’s Calabasas condo) and Ash NYC co-founder Ari Heckman’s serene Soho loft. Curbed Staff, Curbed, 8 Nov. 2022 Their work draws from Black music of the South, blues, gospel, wailing and Eastern monastic traditions. Dallas News, 4 Nov. 2022 Charmless highways connect pop-up townships across the empty Changthang; instant cityscapes dwarf the old monastic towns. Arman Khan, Condé Nast Traveler, 26 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use


circa 1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1632, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of monastic was circa 1563

Dictionary Entries Near monastic

Cite this Entry

“Monastic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


mo·​nas·​tic mə-ˈnas-tik How to pronounce monastic (audio)
: of or relating to monks or monasteries
: resembling life in a monastery
monastic noun
monastically adverb
monasticism noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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