|1.||a male member of a religious community bound by vows of poverty, chastity, and obedienceRelated: monastic|
|2.||(sometimes capital) a fancy pigeon having a bald pate and often large feathered feet|
|[Old English munuc, from Late Latin monachus, from Late Greek: solitary (man), from Greek monos alone]|
|1.||Thelonious (Sphere) (θəˈləʊnɪəs). 1920--82, US jazz pianist and composer|
|2.||a variant spelling of (George) Monck|
"In England, before the Reformation, the term was not applied to the members of the mendicant orders, who were always called friars. From the 16th c. to the 19th c., however, it was usual to speak of the friars as a class of monks. In recent times the distinction between the terms has been carefully observed by well-informed writers. In Fr. and Ger. the equivalent of monk is applied equally to 'monks' and 'friars.' " [OED]
man who separates himself from society and lives either alone (a hermit or anchorite) or in an organized community in order to devote himself full time to religious life. See monasticism.
Learn more about monk with a free trial on Britannica.com.