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[fran-sis-kuh n] /frænˈsɪs kən/
of or relating to St. Francis or the Franciscans.
a member of the mendicant order founded by St. Francis in the 13th century.
Origin of Franciscan
1585-95; < Medieval Latin Francisc(us) St. Francis of Assisi + -an Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for franciscans


  1. a member of any of several Christian religious orders of mendicant friars or nuns tracing their origins back to Saint Francis of Assisi; a Grey Friar
  2. (as modifier): a Franciscan friar
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 franciscans


1590s, "friar of the order founded in 1209 by St. Francis (Medieval Latin Franciscus) of Assisi" (1182-1226). Also as an adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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franciscans in Culture

Franciscans definition

A religious order founded by Francis of Assisi, known, like Francis, for devotion to poverty. The Franciscans have many divisions, and include both men and women.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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