- begging; practicing begging; living on alms.
- pertaining to or characteristic of a beggar.
- a person who lives by begging; beggar.
- a member of any of several orders of friars that originally forbade ownership of property, subsisting mostly on alms.
Origin of mendicant
Examples from the Web for mendicant
In passing the coins their eyes met, and the mendicant started.The False Chevalier
William Douw Lighthall
It would be a disgrace on my house to have him become a mendicant.
Oh, I'd forgive him all, and e'en his flight, Had only he not turned a mendicant.
In a way of speaking, this mendicant of Coney Island was perhaps of this class.From Place to Place
Irvin S. Cobb
The order of scholars has ceased to be mendicant, vagabond, and eremite.
- (of a member of a religious order) dependent on alms for sustenancemendicant friars
- characteristic of a beggar
- a mendicant friar
- a less common word for beggar
Word Origin and History for mendicant
late 14c., from Latin mendicantem (nominative mendicans) present participle of mendicare "to beg, ask alms," from mendicus "beggar," originally "cripple" (connection via cripples who must beg), from menda "fault, physical defect" (see mendacious). As an adjective from 1540s. Also in Middle English was mendinant (mid-14c.), from Old French mendinant, present participle of mendiner "to beg," from the same Latin source.
"a beggar," mid-15c., from mendicant (adj.) or from Latin mendicantem (nominative mendicans), noun use of present participle of mendicare.