[ mon-uh-ster-ee ]
/ ˈmɒn əˌstɛr i /

noun, plural mon·as·ter·ies.

a house or place of residence occupied by a community of persons, especially monks, living in seclusion under religious vows.
the community of persons living in such a place.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for monastery

British Dictionary definitions for monastery


/ (ˈmɒnəstərɪ, -strɪ) /

noun plural -teries

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

Word Origin for monastery

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



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper