[ fran-sis-kuh n ]
/ frænˈsɪs kən /


of or relating to St. Francis or the Franciscans.


a member of the mendicant order founded by St. Francis in the 13th century.

Origin of Franciscan

1585–95; < Medieval Latin Francisc(us) St. Francis of Assisi + -an Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for franciscans

British Dictionary definitions for franciscans


/ (frænˈsɪskən) /


  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
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for franciscans


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.

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.