• synonyms


[men-di-kuh n-see]
See more synonyms for mendicancy on Thesaurus.com
  1. the practice of begging, as for alms.
  2. the state or condition of being a beggar.
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Origin of mendicancy

First recorded in 1780–90; mendic(ant) + -ancy
Related formsnon·men·di·can·cy, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

begging, indigence, impoverishment, destitution, poorness, penury, mendicancy, mendicity, pauperism, impecuniosity

Examples from the Web for mendicancy

Historical Examples

  • And yet for some of them this life of brawls and vodka, of theft and mendicancy, is a very hell.

    Maxim Gorki

    Hans Ostwald

  • The mendicancy laws have taken from him his human demand on Man.

    Eugenics and Other Evils

    G. K. Chesterton

  • The first decree on the subject of mendicancy was issued May 20th, 1790.

    Old and New Paris, v. 2

    Henry Sutherland Edwards

  • It was easy, however, to decree the extinction of mendicancy.

    Old and New Paris, v. 2

    Henry Sutherland Edwards

  • How could disorderly living of this sort lead to anything but mendicancy?

    The Surprises of Life

    Georges Clemenceau

Word Origin and History for mendicancy


"state or condition of beggary," 1790, from mendicant + -cy. Also in this sense was mendicity (c.1400), from Old French mendicité "begging," from Latin mendicitatem (nominative mendicitas) "beggary, mendicity."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper