- one of a class of solitary ascetics who lived on the top of high pillars or columns.
Origin of stylite
1630–40; < Late Greek stȳlī́tēs, equivalent to stŷl(os) pillar + -itēs -ite1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for stylite
This old monk was St. Luke the Stylite, appearing in vision.Curiosities of Olden Times
Simeon the Stylite comes down from his pillar-top, and chaffers in the market-place with common folks.Speeches, Addresses, and Occasional Sermons, Volume 3 (of 3)
He stopped, some paces from the column, and began to examine the stylite, wiping his face meanwhile with the skirt of his toga.Thais
A Stylite might have contented himself there; Gilliatt, more luxurious in his requirements, wanted something more commodious.Toilers of the Sea
- Christianity one of a class of recluses who in ancient times lived on the top of high pillars
C17: from Late Greek stulitēs, from Greek stulos a pillar
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