mo·​nas·​tic | \ mə-ˈna-stik How to pronounce monastic (audio) \

Definition of monastic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to monasteries or to monks or nuns the rituals of monastic life
2 : resembling (as in seclusion or ascetic simplicity) life in a monastery shows a monastic dedication to his job


plural monastics

Definition of monastic (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

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Other Words from monastic


monastically \ mə-​ˈna-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce monastically (audio) \ adverb
monasticism \ mə-​ˈna-​stə-​ˌsi-​zəm How to pronounce monasticism (audio) \ noun

Examples of monastic in a Sentence

Adjective He founded a monastic order in Belgium. He shows a monastic dedication to his job. She studied for the test with monastic zeal.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Church served as a model, with monastic communities bringing together unrelated men to cooperate and live together. Razib Khan, National Review, "The WEIRDest People in the World," 16 Sep. 2020 Records show that builders added a second floor to the sacristy during the 1380s, when construction work was taking place across the monastic complex. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Lost Medieval Sacristy, Burial Grounds Unearthed at Westminster Abbey," 26 Aug. 2020 Since the time of the Buddha, around the sixth century B.C., donations have sustained monastic communities. Brooke Schedneck, The Conversation, "Buddhist monks have reversed roles in Thailand – now they are the ones donating goods to others," 5 Aug. 2020 After Becket’s murder, the ice reveals, lead use rose sharply again, testifying to Henry’s hasty scramble to redeem himself through the construction of a series of major monastic institutions. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Fallout of a Medieval Archbishop’s Murder Is Recorded in Alpine Ice," 2 Apr. 2020 To confirm her suspicions, Dall’Armellina and her colleagues spent the next two years tracing the artifact’s origins back in time through a series of monastic archives. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Graduate Student Discovers One of World’s Oldest Swords in Mislabeled Monastery Display," 16 Mar. 2020 On Friday, a Russian Orthodox Church panel in Yekaterinburg ruled to defrock Father Sergiy for breaking monastic rules. Washington Post, "Russian court fines coronavirus-denying rebel monk," 7 July 2020 The monastic lifestyle may seem stark for modern times, but Benedict’s take on religious contemplation was moderate compared to the experiments of his era. Michael A. Vargas, The Conversation, "Monks, experts in social distancing, find strength in isolation," 1 July 2020 Daniel Thorson cut himself off from society in a remote cabin in northwestern Vermont as part of a Buddhist monastic community back in March. Fox News, "Man emerges from 75-day silent retreat with tweet: ‘Did I miss anything?’," 13 June 2020

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.

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First Known Use of monastic


circa 1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1632, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for monastic

Time Traveler

The first known use of monastic was circa 1563

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Statistics for monastic

Last Updated

30 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Monastic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for monastic


How to pronounce monastic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of monastic

: of or relating to monks or monasteries
: resembling or suggesting a monk or the life of a monk


mo·​nas·​tic | \ mə-ˈna-stik How to pronounce monastic (audio) \

Kids Definition of monastic

: of or relating to monks or monasteries He took monastic vows.

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