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[muh-nas-tik] /məˈnæs tɪk/
adjective, Also, monastical
of or relating to monasteries:
a monastic library.
of, relating to, or characteristic of monks or nuns, their manner of life, or their religious obligations:
monastic vows.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a secluded, dedicated, or austere manner of living.
a member of a monastic community or order, especially a monk.
Origin of monastic
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English monastik < Late Latin monasticus < Late Greek monastikós, equivalent to monas- (verbid stem of monázein to be alone; see mon-) + -ikos -ic, with -t- by analogy with derivatives of agent nouns in -tēs (cf. athlete, athletic)
Related forms
monastically, adverb
nonmonastic, adjective
nonmonastically, adverb
pseudomonastic, adjective
pseudomonastical, adjective
pseudomonastically, adverb
semimonastic, adjective
unmonastic, adjective
unmonastically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for monastic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The monastery of Clugny grew out of the urgent need of monastic reform.

    The Rise of the Mediaeval Church Alexander Clarence Flick
  • Many were the efforts to reform the abuses which crept into the monastic houses.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • Well, Monkton, I have been to E——-; that important event in my monastic life has been concluded.

    Falkland, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • We will now see the monks at work, and spend a day with them in their monastic home.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • The first of these was, as we have seen, an essential reform at Cluny, the model for the English monastic reformers.

British Dictionary definitions for monastic


of or relating to monasteries or monks, nuns, etc
resembling this sort of life; reclusive
a person who is committed to this way of life, esp a monk
Derived Forms
monastically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for monastic

mid-15c., from Middle French monastique "monkish, monastic," or directly from Late Latin monasticus, from Ecclesiastical Greek monastikos "solitary, pertaining to a monk," from Greek monazein "to live alone" (see monastery). Related: Monastical (c.1400).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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