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[stahy-lahyt] /ˈstaɪ laɪt/
noun, Ecclesiastical History.
one of a class of solitary ascetics who lived on the top of high pillars or columns.
Origin of stylite
1630-40; < Late Greek stȳlī́tēs, equivalent to stŷl(os) pillar + -itēs -ite1
Related forms
[stahy-lit-ik] /staɪˈlɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for stylite
Historical Examples
  • This old monk was St. Luke the stylite, appearing in vision.

    Curiosities of Olden Times

    S. Baring-Gould
  • Simeon the stylite comes down from his pillar-top, and chaffers in the market-place with common folks.

  • He stopped, some paces from the column, and began to examine the stylite, wiping his face meanwhile with the skirt of his toga.

    Thais Anatole France
  • A stylite might have contented himself there; Gilliatt, more luxurious in his requirements, wanted something more commodious.

    Toilers of the Sea Victor Hugo
British Dictionary definitions for stylite


(Christianity) one of a class of recluses who in ancient times lived on the top of high pillars
Derived Forms
stylitic (staɪˈlɪtɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Late Greek stulitēs, from Greek stulos a pillar
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 stylite

ascetic living on the top of a pillar, 1630s, from Ecclesiastical Greek stylites, from stylos "pillar" (see stet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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