pos·​tu·​lant ˈpäs-chə-lənt How to pronounce postulant (audio)
: a person admitted to a religious order as a probationary candidate for membership
: a person on probation before being admitted as a candidate for holy orders in the Episcopal Church

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web There is a major Chicago theater debut from Isabella Andrews, as the nervous postulant Mary Robert. Chris Jones,, 12 Nov. 2021 Ron Hansen has written 10 estimable novels with wildly diverse, mostly historical subjects ranging from postulant Mariette Baptiste to Hitler’s niece to Billy the Kid. Ron Hansen, Star Tribune, 14 Aug. 2020 Even today, postulants who enter the order, which has chapters around the world, mostly spend their days alone, in spartan cells in prayer and contemplation, mixed with some manual labor. Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2019 One of the postulants is Barbara Prate, a bright, occasionally caustic 45-year-old nurse from New Jersey. Kristina Krug, Smithsonian, 28 June 2018 Brother Reilly had given him a short tour of the public areas—the chapel, the guest parlor, the dining hall—and then escorted him to the front veranda, where the other postulants had gathered to admire the grounds. John L’heureux, The New Yorker, 14 May 2018 The Sound of Music’’ starred Mary Martin — then just weeks away from her 46th birthday — as Maria, the young postulant who leaves an abbey to become a governess to the von Trapp family. Don Aucoin,, 3 May 2018 Maria, a postulant at a convent near Salzburg, Austria, is detached from her duties to be governess to the seven motherless children of Baron Von Trapp. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Mar. 2018 After high school, he was accepted as a postulant to the Augustinian Academy in Staten Island, N.Y., and was accepted to the Order in September 1946. Adia H. Robinson,, 21 June 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'postulant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


French, petitioner, candidate, postulant, from Middle French, from present participle of postuler to demand, solicit, from Latin postulare

First Known Use

1721, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of postulant was in 1721

Dictionary Entries Near postulant

Cite this Entry

“Postulant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

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