1. a mendicant friar belonging to a religious order founded at Mt. Carmel, Palestine, in the 12th century; White Friar.
  2. a nun belonging to this order.
  1. of or relating to Carmelites or their order.

Origin of Carmelite

1400–50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin Carmelita, named after Carmel, first seat of the order; see -ite1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for carmelite

Historical Examples of carmelite

  • The manufactories, one and all, are inaccessible as the interior of a Carmelite convent.

    In the Heart of Vosges

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • You, at all events, my Olivia, can never become a Carmelite or a Magdalen.

  • One knew not whom to approach to break the news to the poor Carmelite.

    The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete

    Madame La Marquise De Montespan

  • The deserted and ancient Carmelite monastery is a feature of this place.

    Aztec Land

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • You are to be carried in a coach to-night to the Convent of the Carmelite Nuns.


    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for carmelite


noun RC Church
  1. a member of an order of mendicant friars founded about 1154; a White Friar
  2. a member of a corresponding order of nuns founded in 1452, noted for its austere rule
  3. (modifier) of or relating to the Carmelite friars or nuns

Word Origin for Carmelite

C14: from French; named after Mount Carmel, where the order was founded
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

Word Origin and History for carmelite



c.1500, from Medieval Latin Carmelites, member of an order of mendicant friars (White Friars) founded 12c. by Berthold of Calabria on Mount Carmel in what is now northwest Israel.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper