[ muh-nas-tik ]
/ məˈnæs tɪk /

adjective Also mo·nas·ti·cal.

of or relating to monasteries: a monastic library.
of, relating to, or characteristic of monks or nuns, their manner of life, or their religious obligations: monastic vows.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a secluded, dedicated, or austere manner of living.


a member of a monastic community or order, especially a monk.

Nearby words

  1. monas,
  2. monash,
  3. monaster,
  4. monasterial,
  5. monastery,
  6. monasticism,
  7. monastir,
  8. monastral,
  9. monathetosis,
  10. monatomic

Origin of monastic

1400–50; late Middle English monastik < Late Latin monasticus < Late Greek monastikós, equivalent to monas- (verbid stem of monázein to be alone; see mon-) + -ikos -ic, with -t- by analogy with derivatives of agent nouns in -tēs (cf. athlete, athletic)

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

Examples from the Web for monastic

British Dictionary definitions for monastic


/ (məˈnæstɪk) /

adjective monastical

of or relating to monasteries or monks, nuns, etc
resembling this sort of life; reclusive


a person who is committed to this way of life, esp a monk
Derived Formsmonastically, adverb

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 monastic



mid-15c., from Middle French monastique "monkish, monastic," or directly from Late Latin monasticus, from Ecclesiastical Greek monastikos "solitary, pertaining to a monk," from Greek monazein "to live alone" (see monastery). Related: Monastical (c.1400).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper