- (in Christianity) a man who has withdrawn from the world for religious reasons, especially as a member of an order of cenobites living according to a particular rule and under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
- (in any religion) a man who is a member of a monastic order: a Buddhist monk.
- Printing. a dark area on a printed page caused by uneven inking of the plate or type.Compare friar(def 2).
Origin of monk
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for monks
Founded by German monks in present-day Old Town Stockholm, Zum Franziskaner has become a legend amongst locals and tourists.Inside The World’s 10 Oldest Restaurants
December 20, 2014
The monks in those monasteries were the only historians around at that time.How the Vikings Saved Europe and Got a Terrible Reputation
September 17, 2014
The government of Colombia decided to loan the 28,000 square meter fixer-upper to a fraternity of hermetic Benedictine monks.
I have arranged a meeting with Brother Davide—one of two monks who live at The Cathedral full time.
Even the storied Red Burgundies made by Cistercian monks were dark pink.Summer in a Glass: Everything’s Coming Up Rosés
June 7, 2014
“I mean a man sad and grave as the monks of Beaulieu,” said the jester.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
The new establishment, however, was for monks only, and was for some time merely a priory.Yorkshire Painted And Described
That's just like these monks: they think this is the Middle Ages still.
Besides, he feared the rod of the monks, or his daddy, if he remained.
Thus the monastery would be enriched and all the monks get fat.
- a male member of a religious community bound by vows of poverty, chastity, and obedienceRelated adjective: monastic
- (sometimes capital) a fancy pigeon having a bald pate and often large feathered feet
- Thelonious (Sphere) (θəˈləʊnɪəs). 1920–82, US jazz pianist and composer
- a variant spelling of (George) Monck
Word Origin and History for monks
Old English munuc "monk" (used also of women), from Proto-Germanic *muniko- (cf. Old Frisian munek, Middle Dutch monic, Old High German munih, Ger. Mönch), an early borrowing from Vulgar Latin *monicus (source of French moine, Spanish monje, Italian monaco), from Late Latin monachus "monk," originally "religious hermit," from Ecclesiastical Greek monakhos "monk," noun use of a classical Greek adjective meaning "solitary," from monos "alone" (see mono-). For substitution of -o- for -u-, see come.
In England, before the Reformation, the term was not applied to the members of the mendicant orders, who were always called friars. From the 16th c. to the 19th c., however, it was usual to speak of the friars as a class of monks. In recent times the distinction between the terms has been carefully observed by well-informed writers. In French and Ger. the equivalent of monk is applied equally to 'monks' and 'friars.' [OED]