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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Through these figures, Falk offers a sense of the international nature of medieval scholarship, debunking the image of isolated, repressive monastic communities and highlighting the influence of both Muslim and Jewish innovators. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Heiress Who Stole a Vermeer, Witchcraft in Post-WWII Germany and Other New Books to Read," 5 Nov. 2020 Whitefriars was just one of several Christian monastic organizations in the city. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Long-Lost Medieval Monastery Discovered Beneath Parking Garage in England," 20 Oct. 2020 Eating in silence is an ancient practice with roots in many monastic communities. Hillary Richard, New York Times, "Shh. It’s Breakfast Time.," 17 Oct. 2020 Beamore was a monastic grange farm owned by the Cistercian abbey of Beaubec in Normandy. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Sourdough Bread Oven, ‘Air Freshener’ Found at Medieval Irish Monastery," 23 Sep. 2020 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of monastic


circa 1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1632, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about monastic

Time Traveler for monastic

Time Traveler

The first known use of monastic was circa 1563

See more words from the same year

Statistics for monastic

Last Updated

17 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Monastic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!