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 monastic (audio) \ adverb
monasticism \ mə-​ˈna-​stə-​ˌsi-​zəm How to pronounce monastic (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 former is the intentional simplicity and bare surfaces of artists like Donald Judd, or the monastic interiors of designer Axel Vervoordt. Kyle Chayka, Town & Country, 20 Sep. 2021 Sitagu Sayadaw has monastic outposts in the United States and runs theological universities. New York Times, 28 Aug. 2021 My teachers hated my designs—a collection of monastic, tobacco-color hand knits. Marc Myers, WSJ, 20 July 2021 In app form, options include Plum Village, created by the monastic community led by Buddhist visionary Thich Nhat Hanh, and Liberate, a meditation app designed for the Black community, featuring BIPOC instructors. Ashley Lauretta, Wired, 31 July 2021 The concept advocates an almost monastic outlook, including not getting married, not having children, not having a job, not owning property, and consuming as little as possible. Jane Li, Quartz, 18 June 2021 His adventures certainly defy the conventional notion of monastic life as sedentary and quiet. Joshua Hammer, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 May 2021 The 1980 library-study, a small room topped by a cylindrical cone and a skylight, ingeniously complements Islamic shapes and a feeling for monastic solitude with prototypes for delicate Frank Gehry bentwood chairs. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, 18 June 2021 Losses have been significant, for members of the monastic community and small businesses that thrive near these famous temple complexes. Brooke Schedneck, Quartz, 4 June 2021

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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Last Updated

1 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monastic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for monastic



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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