• synonyms


[fran-sis-kuh n]
  1. of or relating to St. Francis or the Franciscans.
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  1. a member of the mendicant order founded by St. Francis in the 13th century.
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Origin of Franciscan

1585–95; < Medieval Latin Francisc(us) St. Francis of Assisi + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for franciscans

Historical Examples

  • He was one of the Franciscans who had accompanied Gomez Arias to the scaffold.

    Gomez Arias

    Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso

  • Certainly it is not for the Franciscans that one remembers Francis of Assisi.

  • The next day the Franciscans performed a service of the same kind for him.

  • The order of Franciscans then spread rapidly through all countries.

  • He is much with the Franciscans, who have a convent at Rostino.

British Dictionary definitions for franciscans


    1. a member of any of several Christian religious orders of mendicant friars or nuns tracing their origins back to Saint Francis of Assisi; a Grey Friar
    2. (as modifier)a Franciscan friar
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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 franciscans


1590s, "friar of the order founded in 1209 by St. Francis (Medieval Latin Franciscus) of Assisi" (1182-1226). Also as an adjective.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

franciscans in Culture


A religious order founded by Francis of Assisi, known, like Francis, for devotion to poverty. The Franciscans have many divisions, and include both men and women.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.