[ men-di-kuhnt ]
See synonyms for mendicant on
  1. begging; practicing begging; living on alms.

  2. pertaining to or characteristic of a beggar.

  1. a person who lives by begging; beggar.

  2. a member of any of several orders of friars that originally forbade ownership of property, subsisting mostly on alms.

Origin of mendicant

1425–75; late Middle English <Latin mendīcant- (stem of mendīcāns), present participle of mendīcāre to beg, equivalent to mendīc(us) beggarly, needy + -ant--ant

Other words from mendicant

  • non·men·di·cant, adjective

Words Nearby mendicant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use mendicant in a sentence

  • He has been on intimate terms with czar and serf, he has met millionaire and mendicant, he has hobnobbed with prince and pauper.

    Comrade Kropotkin | Victor Robinson
  • In a way of speaking, this mendicant of Coney Island was perhaps of this class.

    From Place to Place | Irvin S. Cobb
  • They probably despised her already; how much more they would despise her in the character of a mendicant!

  • I must go there, if I clothe myself in the rags of a mendicant lama and beg my way from one black tent to another.

  • In a few days the town of Brussels swarmed with ash-gray garments such as were usually worn by mendicant friars and penitents.

British Dictionary definitions for mendicant


/ (ˈmɛndɪkənt) /

  1. begging

  2. (of a member of a religious order) dependent on alms for sustenance: mendicant friars

  1. characteristic of a beggar

  1. a mendicant friar

  2. a less common word for beggar

Origin of mendicant

C16: from Latin mendīcāre to beg, from mendīcus beggar, from mendus flaw

Derived forms of mendicant

  • mendicancy or mendicity (mɛnˈdɪsɪtɪ), noun

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