noun Ecclesiastical History.
one of a class of solitary ascetics who lived on the top of high pillars or columns.

1630–40; < Late Greek stȳlī́tēs, equivalent to stŷl(os) pillar + -itēs -ite1

stylitic [stahy-lit-ik] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stylite (ˈstaɪlaɪt)
Christianity one of a class of recluses who in ancient times lived on the top of high pillars
[C17: from Late Greek stulitēs, from Greek stulos a pillar]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

ascetic living on the top of a pillar, c.1638, from Eccles. Gk. stylites, from stylos "pillar" (see stet).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


a Christian ascetic who lived standing on top of a column (Greek: stylos) or pillar. The first to do this was St. Simeon Stylites (the Elder), who took up residence atop a column in Syria in AD 423. The best known among his imitators were his Syrian disciple St. Daniel (409-493) in Constantinople, St. Simeon Stylites the Younger (517-592) on Mount Admirable near Antioch, St. Alypius (7th century), near Adrianopolis, St. Luke (879-979) at Chalcedon, and St. Lazarus (968-1054) on Mount Galesion near Ephesus. Apart from these saints, of whom Greek biographies exist, various other stylites who lived in Greece and the Middle East were mentioned in ecclesiastical sources. John Moschus (died 619) mentions several in his Pratum spirituale, and references to female stylites have also been found

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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