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[stahy-lahyt] /ˈstaɪ laɪt/
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
Related forms
[stahy-lit-ik] /staɪˈlɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for stylitic


(Christianity) one of a class of recluses who in ancient times lived on the top of high pillars
Derived Forms
stylitic (staɪˈlɪtɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Late Greek stulitēs, from Greek stulos a pillar
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for stylitic



ascetic living on the top of a pillar, 1630s, from Ecclesiastical Greek stylites, from stylos "pillar" (see stet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for stylitic


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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