1 of 2

noun (1)

: a man who is a member of a religious order and lives in a monastery
also : friar


2 of 2

noun (2)

: monkey

Examples of monk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The city could provide the setting for a 1930s gangster thriller, a medieval fantasy with secret codes and evil monks, a bodice-ripping romance, or a contemporary film noir. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, 8 July 2024 During this year’s excavation, researchers focused on the monastery’s mid-12th century cloister, a section used as living quarters by the monks. Aspen Pflughoeft, Miami Herald, 2 July 2024 Its popularity across Europe in the medieval ages and today can be traced back to the influence of Saint Benedict, an Italian Catholic monk who founded the Benedictine Order. Toketemu Ohwovoriole, Parents, 2 July 2024 This woman almost certainly fought—and died—alongside the male warrior monks. Eli Wizevich, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for monk 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'monk.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English munuc, from Late Latin monachus, from Late Greek monachos, from Greek, adjective, single, from monos single, alone

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1841, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of monk was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near monk

Cite this Entry

“Monk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a member of a religious community made up of men who agree to give up worldly life, remain poor and unmarried, and obey all laws of their community

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Thelonious Sphere 1920–1982 American jazz musician
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