noun, plural monasteries.
a house or place of residence occupied by a community of persons, especially monks, living in seclusion under religious vows.
the community of persons living in such a place.

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin monastērium < Late Greek monastḗrion monk house, orig. hermit's cell, equivalent to monas-, variant stem of monázein to be alone (see mon-) + -tērion neuter adj. suffix denoting place

monasterial [mon-uh-steer-ee-uhl] , adjective

1. cloister; abbey, priory, friary, lamasery. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
monastery (ˈmɒnəstərɪ, -strɪ)
n , pl -teries
the residence of a religious community, esp of monks, living in seclusion from secular society and bound by religious vows
[C15: from Church Latin monastērium, from Late Greek monastērion, from Greek monázein to live alone, from monos alone]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1420 (implied in monasterical), from O.Fr. monastere, from L.L. monasterium, from Late Gk. monasterion "a monastery," from monazein "to live alone," from monos "alone" (see mono-). With suffix -terion "place for (doing something)." Originally applied to houses of any religious
order, male or female.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Some of your brick-and-mortar campuses will make great monasteries.
Cities also found it convenient to have feudal protectors, and monasteries and
  church estates bound themselves by similar ties.
Hundreds of monasteries were shuttered or ransacked, and thousands of monks
Among them are a dozen monks, who have come by taxi and will have to return to
  their monasteries by the end of lunch.
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