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

Examples of postulant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer lead the cast that play the charming and gorgeous von Trapp family who are reminded of love and music when a young Austrian postulant nun steps into the family home of a strict widowed Naval officer. Women's Health, 25 May 2023 Learning to construct a meaningful narrative of self that embraced—rather than denied—such temporal paradoxes sat at the heart of the transformation the postulants underwent in their first year. Rebecca J. Lester, Scientific American, 16 May 2023 This is the arresting and affecting tale of the young monk who aspires to express his devotion to the Virgin Mary, having dejectedly reviewed, during his first week as a postulant at the monastery alongside Our Lady of Sorrows, the prodigies and gifts of his fellow monks. William F. Buckley Jr., National Review, 26 Nov. 2020 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

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

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 20 Apr. 2024.

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