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[pos-chuh-luh nt] /ˈpɒs tʃə lənt/
a candidate, especially for admission into a religious order.
a person who asks or applies for something.
Origin of postulant
1750-60; < French < Latin postulant- (stem of postulāns), present participle of postulāre to ask for, claim, require
Related forms
postulantship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for postulant
Historical Examples
  • She trembled like a postulant when she wrote the Greek alphabet for the first time.

    The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • There are degrees in the struggle for saintliness; the journalist was but a postulant.

    When It Was Dark Guy Thorne
  • "But Juanita is not a postulant," said Sarrion, with a laugh.

    The Velvet Glove Henry Seton Merriman
  • Mark concerned himself less with his own reception as a postulant.

    The Altar Steps Compton MacKenzie
  • One is a postulant for two years at least, often for four; a novice for four.

    Les Misrables Victor Hugo
  • I was the postulant, dumb before the mysteries; I adored without a thought.

    Rest Harrow Maurice Hewlett
  • The postulant, after receiving these three ordinations, becomes a full monk or Ho-shang and takes a new name.

  • No one can become a postulant for admission to the Society until fourteen years old, unless by special dispensation.

  • Quite often during my postulant period, while I was learning these Latin prayers, I would have to do sewing.

    The Demands of Rome Elizabeth Schoffen
  • Certainly, after such trials, the postulant is fully informed; nevertheless, his superiors contribute what they know.

British Dictionary definitions for postulant


a person who makes a request or application, esp a candidate for admission to a religious order
Derived Forms
postulancy, postulantship, noun
Word Origin
C18: from Latin postulāns asking, from postulāre to ask, demand
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 postulant

1759, from French postulant "applicant, candidate," literally "one who asks," from Latin postulantem (nominative postulans), present participle of postulare "to ask, demand" (see postulate (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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