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

Her poems rise out of the monastic practice of dwelling in silence, and hers, often, is a churchless god. Barbara Mahany,, "‘Dreaming of Stones’: Poetry collection offers spiritual solace," 23 June 2019 The revered fourth- and fifth-century monastic reformer St. Shenute built a lasting legacy of learning and piety at the monumental White Monastery in present-day Sohag on the west bank of the Nile. National Geographic, "Ancient Egypt gave rise to one of the world's oldest Christian faiths," 19 Apr. 2019 The gabled Kilfenora Cathedral is known for its high crosses, particularly the oversize Doorty Cross that depicts Saint Peter blessing Kilfenora’s upgrade from a monastic to a diocesan site in the 12th century. Serena Renner, National Geographic, "Road trip through the Irish countryside’s wild beauty," 12 Mar. 2019 In Britain, Roman Catholic scholars from David Knowles to Eamon Duffy have been drawn to the history of the medieval church and the monastic orders. Keith Thomas, The New York Review of Books, "Keith Thomas," 17 Jan. 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 Today's color combination—lilac, oxblood, and white—was fresh and unexpected for the traditional checked fabric, while the skirt felt both monastic and directional, thanks to bias-cut panels that played with the direction of the pattern. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Victoria Beckham Proves You Can Wear Plaid in Paris," 28 Mar. 2018 The Augustinians retain ownership of the buildings, and guests can take a tour of the historic library, monastery, and chapel with one of the monks who still live in the separate monastic quarters. Alice Newell-hanson, Condé Nast Traveler, "19 Hotels That Used to Be Churches, Temples, and More," 29 Mar. 2018 These frescoes were begun in 1974 by Khapa Rinzi, a Sherpa master of the monastic art of thangka painting. Sophy Roberts, Condé Nast Traveler, "On Your Next Trip to Nepal, Rent the House Sir Edmund Hillary Loved," 20 Dec. 2018

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

13 Jul 2019

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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

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