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mendicant

[men-di-kuh nt] /ˈmɛn dɪ kənt/
adjective
1.
begging; practicing begging; living on alms.
2.
pertaining to or characteristic of a beggar.
noun
3.
a person who lives by begging; beggar.
4.
a member of any of several orders of friars that originally forbade ownership of property, subsisting mostly on alms.
Origin of mendicant
late Middle English
1425-1475
1425-75; late Middle English < Latin mendīcant- (stem of mendīcāns), present participle of mendīcāre to beg, equivalent to mendīc(us) beggarly, needy + -ant- -ant
Related forms
nonmendicant, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mendicant
Historical Examples
  • In passing the coins their eyes met, and the mendicant started.

    The False Chevalier William Douw Lighthall
  • It would be a disgrace on my house to have him become a mendicant.

    The Buddha Paul Carus
  • Oh, I'd forgive him all, and e'en his flight, Had only he not turned a mendicant.

    The Buddha Paul Carus
  • In a way of speaking, this mendicant of Coney Island was perhaps of this class.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb
  • The order of scholars has ceased to be mendicant, vagabond, and eremite.

  • The strength of the mendicant orders was in their popularity.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner
  • The mendicant orders furnished the 218army of papal absolutism.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner
  • Other mendicant orders prove the dominant ideas of the time.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner
  • You may be certain there was a mendicant priest in attendance on his godship.

    In Eastern Seas J. J. Smith
  • As she came closer to him, the mendicant acted very strangely.

British Dictionary definitions for mendicant

mendicant

/ˈmɛndɪkənt/
adjective
1.
begging
2.
(of a member of a religious order) dependent on alms for sustenance: mendicant friars
3.
characteristic of a beggar
noun
4.
a mendicant friar
5.
a less common word for beggar
Derived Forms
mendicancy, mendicity (mɛnˈdɪsɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin mendīcāre to beg, from mendīcus beggar, from mendus flaw
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 mendicant
adj.

late 14c., from Latin mendicantem (nominative mendicans) present participle of mendicare "to beg, ask alms," from mendicus "beggar," originally "cripple" (connection via cripples who must beg), from menda "fault, physical defect" (see mendacious). As an adjective from 1540s. Also in Middle English was mendinant (mid-14c.), from Old French mendinant, present participle of mendiner "to beg," from the same Latin source.

n.

"a beggar," mid-15c., from mendicant (adj.) or from Latin mendicantem (nominative mendicans), noun use of present participle of mendicare.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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