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monastery

[mon-uh-ster-ee]
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noun, plural mon·as·ter·ies.
  1. a house or place of residence occupied by a community of persons, especially monks, living in seclusion under religious vows.
  2. the community of persons living in such a place.
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Origin of monastery

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin monastērium < Late Greek monastḗrion monk house, orig. hermit's cell, equivalent to monas-, variant stem of monázein to be alone (see mon-) + -tērion neuter adj. suffix denoting place
Related formsmon·as·te·ri·al [mon-uh-steer-ee-uhl] /ˌmɒn əˈstɪər i əl/, adjective

Synonyms

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

houseabbeycloisterprioryfriarylamasery

Examples from the Web for monastery

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • There came into his head the idea of enriching the monastery.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • Thus the monastery would be enriched and all the monks get fat.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • Monks also erected crosses to mark the boundaries of the property of their monastery.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • The infirmary seems to have been the most cheerful place in the monastery.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • The author was evidently amazed at all the sights which he witnessed in the monastery.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield


British Dictionary definitions for monastery

monastery

noun plural -teries
  1. the residence of a religious community, esp of monks, living in seclusion from secular society and bound by religious vows
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Derived Formsmonasterial (ˌmɒnəˈstɪərɪəl), adjective

Word Origin

C15: from Church Latin monastērium, from Late Greek monastērion, from Greek monázein to live alone, from monos alone
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 monastery

n.

c.1400, from Old French monastere "monastery" (14c.) and directly from Late Latin monasterium, from Ecclesiastical Greek monasterion "a monastery," from monazein "to live alone," from monos "alone" (see mono-). With suffix -terion "place for (doing something)." Originally applied to houses of any religious order, male or female.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper