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


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

From Angkor Thom, venture east on the Little Circuit of stunning monastic complexes and smaller temples. Kareena Gianani, National Geographic, "Explore Cambodia’s ancient stone city," 10 Sep. 2019 Minutes later, a monastic aide rushed in and confirmed that someone had thrown a Molotov cocktail at a nearby mosque. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "‘Our Duty to Fight’: The Rise of Militant Buddhism," 8 July 2019 The town of Göreme, in a region first settled during Roman times, emerged as a center of monastic activity in the fourth century when Christian communities created subterranean communities and frescoed sanctuaries that visitors can see today. George W. Stone, National Geographic, "Dinosaurs to gladiators: 10 World Heritage trips for families," 16 Aug. 2019 Teddy has lived an almost monastic life, buffeted by depression and other ailments. Ron Charles, Dallas News, "In Richard Russo's 'Chances Are...,' a charming reunion unearths a chilling disappearance," 30 July 2019 Teddy has lived an almost monastic life, buffeted by depression and other ailments. Ron Charles Critic, Washington Post, "In Richard Russo’s ‘Chances Are,’ a charming reunion unearths a chilling disappearance," 29 July 2019 Considering this Ellicott City site’s past as a female boarding school, the king of Navarre, Ferdinand (Jonathan Jacobs), seems unlikely to fulfill his near-monastic plans. Mike Giuliano,, "Resistance is futile in Shakespeare's 'Love's Labour's Lost' in Ellicott City," 5 July 2019 For 15 years, Leung lived the almost monastic life of an elite athlete, training twice a day, for 35 hours a week, missing most of the traditional teenage rites of passage like football games and school dances. Alice Park, Time, "Can Anyone Save the Scandal-Plagued USA Gymnastics? Li Li Leung Is Determined to Try," 13 June 2019 At Jil Sander and Loewe, the look had a covered-up, monastic air to it, but the street style takes were a bit more eccentric. Vogue, "Eccentric Layering Was the Trickle-Up Trend That Ruled on and off the Fall 2019 Runways," 11 Mar. 2019

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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Statistics for monastic

Last Updated

21 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for monastic

The first known use of monastic was circa 1563

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on monastic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with monastic

Spanish Central: Translation of monastic

Nglish: Translation of monastic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of monastic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on monastic

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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