mid-12c., from Old Irish céle de "anchorite," from cele "associate, companion," sometimes "servant" (cf. ceilidh) + de "of God." Perhaps an attempt to translate Servus Dei or some other Latin term for "religious hermit."
Examples from the Web for culdee
A Culdee thrust at him with an oar, and pinned him among the sea-tangle.The Washer of the Ford
The most remarkable scholar of Clonenagh was St. ngus, the Culdee.Insula Sanctorum et Doctorum
A culdee thrust at him with an oar, and pinned him among the sea-tangle.
Besides, what had he to do with the culdee's hell or heaven?
As early as the eighth century, Culdee anchorites were accustomed to retire to Iceland from Scotland.The Rise of the Mediaeval Church
Alexander Clarence Flick