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Syllabification: monk
Pronunciation: /məNGk

Definition of monk in English:


A member of a religious community of men typically living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
Example sentences
  • He has attended several retreats at the abbey, run by the Catholic order of Benedictine monks.
  • The emperor assumed the authority to make rules for the communities of Buddhist monks.
  • They were originally built for a community of monks from Val des Choux in Burgundy.
brother, religious, cenobite, contemplative, mendicant;
abbot, prior;
novice, oblate, postulant;
lama, marabout


Old English munuc, based on Greek monakhos 'solitary', from monos 'alone'.



Example sentences
  • The Orthodox Church offers a characteristic mix of monkish asceticism, mystical exaltation, and a special cult of beauty.
  • An intensely private man, almost monkish in his devotion to solitude, he apologetically explained, ‘There's a stillness there I want to preserve.’
  • To walk into the main gallery was to encounter a meditative environment that seemed austere and monkish.


Example sentences
  • There's something monkishly self-denying about his dedication to the pursuit of perfection.
  • The exhibition was elegantly cool, monkishly quiet and very deliberate, just as one imagines Opalka must be: resolved, accepting, and making every moment count.
  • Libertarian ideas, he thought, were like a delicate candle flame ever threatening to gutter; they could only be tended to monkishly by a tiny and obscure remnant.


Example sentences
  • Paul aims to write the P.C. version of his life, an untrue confession that squares his late-in-life monkishness with his youthful travels as a young squire.

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a short excursion or journey made for pleasure