[ stahy-lahyt ]
/ ˈstaɪ laɪt /

noun Ecclesiastical History.

one of a class of solitary ascetics who lived on the top of high pillars or columns.

Nearby words

  1. stylishly,
  2. stylist,
  3. stylistic,
  4. stylistician,
  5. stylistics,
  6. stylites,
  7. stylitic,
  8. stylize,
  9. stylized,
  10. stylo-

Origin of stylite

1630–40; < Late Greek stȳlī́tēs, equivalent to stŷl(os) pillar + -itēs -ite1

Related formssty·lit·ic [stahy-lit-ik] /staɪˈlɪt ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stylite

  • Simeon the Stylite comes down from his pillar-top, and chaffers in the market-place with common folks.

  • He stopped, some paces from the column, and began to examine the stylite, wiping his face meanwhile with the skirt of his toga.

    Thais|Anatole France
  • This old monk was St. Luke the Stylite, appearing in vision.

  • A Stylite might have contented himself there; Gilliatt, more luxurious in his requirements, wanted something more commodious.

    Toilers of the Sea|Victor Hugo

British Dictionary definitions for stylite


/ (ˈstaɪlaɪt) /


Christianity one of a class of recluses who in ancient times lived on the top of high pillars
Derived Formsstylitic (staɪˈlɪtɪk), adjective

Word Origin for stylite

C17: from Late Greek stulitēs, from Greek stulos a pillar

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 stylite



ascetic living on the top of a pillar, 1630s, from Ecclesiastical Greek stylites, from stylos "pillar" (see stet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper