Roman Catholic Church. a member of a branch of the Cistercian order, observing the austere reformed rule established at La Trappe in 1664.


of or relating to the Trappists.

Origin of Trappist

First recorded in 1805–15, Trappist is from the French word trappiste, based on the name of the monastery. See La Trappe, -ist Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trappists

Historical Examples of trappists

British Dictionary definitions for trappists



  1. a member of a branch of the Cistercian order of Christian monks, the Reformed Cistercians of the Strict Observance which originated at La Trappe in France in 1664. They are noted for their rule of silence
  2. (as modifier)a Trappist monk
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 trappists



1814, from French trappiste, Cistercian monk of reformed order established 1664 by abbot De Rancé of La Trappe in Normandy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

trappists in Culture


A strict order of monks in the Roman Catholic Church.


Until recent years, Trappists took a vow of silence, under which they were rarely allowed to speak to one another. They were allowed to speak only during worship, to their superiors, and to guests at their monasteries.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.