[ si-stur-shuh n ]
/ sɪˈstɜr ʃən /


a member of an order of monks and nuns founded in 1098 at Citeaux, near Dijon, France, under the rule of St. Benedict.


of or relating to the Cistercians.

Origin of Cistercian

1595–1605; < Medieval Latin Cisterciānus < Latin Cisterci(um) placename (now Cîteaux) + -ānus -an
Related formsCis·ter·cian·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cistercian

British Dictionary definitions for cistercian


/ (sɪˈstɜːʃən) /


  1. Also called: White Monk a member of a Christian order of monks and nuns founded in 1098, which follows an especially strict form of the Benedictine rule
  2. (as modifier)a Cistercian monk

Word Origin for Cistercian

C17: from French Cistercien, from Medieval Latin Cisterciānus, from Cistercium (modern Cîteaux), original home of the order
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 cistercian



c.1600, "pertaining to the Cistercian order of monks," with -an + Medieval Latin Cistercium (French Cîteaux), site of an abbey near Dijon, where the monastic order was founded 1098 by Robert of Molesme. As a noun, "monk of the Cistercian order," from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper