Definition of mendicant in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmɛndɪk(ə)nt/


1Given to begging.
Example sentences
  • Possibly it was sheer vanity and love of easily-won applause that drove him to act out the role of mendicant campus guru.
  • Out on the sidewalk of Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz's main shopping street, the normal carnival of pedestrians, loiterers, court jesters, fools, and mendicant troubadours milled and mingled on a warm spring afternoon.
  • After all, Francis of Assisi and Dominic Guzman, not Innocent III, energized the mendicant movement that swept Europe in the thirteenth century.
begging, cadging
informal scrounging, sponging
North American informal mooching
1.1Of or denoting one of the religious orders who originally relied solely on alms: a mendicant friar
More example sentences
  • This new form was provided by the mendicant orders, the friars - mobile missionaries whose international organization cut clean through diocesan and parochial boundaries.
  • All over town, Franciscan monks - the order of mendicant friars which is St. Francis' legacy - were praying.
  • Clerical control seems to have ensured coherent planning of subject-matter and compositions throughout the choir; indeed he finds the cathedral glass remarkably free of lay influence, or of trends favoured by the mendicant orders.


1A beggar.
Example sentences
  • I thought of Dorothy Wordsworth who coined the phrase, ‘the rant and cant of the staled beggar’, as she complained of the mendicants she encountered in England's beautiful Lake District.
  • Somehow, it reminds one of The Beggars' Opera, in which professional mendicants hire crutches for a day's sponging, clobbering with a wooden limb anyone who gets in the way of them turning a pretty penny.
  • If there was no man in the house at the time these unwelcome visitors made their calls the female inmates were often greatly frightened, for the mendicants, if they were refused help, were not particular in the choice of their epithets.
beggar, beggarman, beggarwoman, tramp, vagrant, vagabond, cadger
informal scrounger, sponger
North American  hobo
North American informal schnorrer, mooch, moocher, bum
rare clochard
1.1A member of a mendicant order.
Example sentences
  • Another group of monasteries grew up around friars who although taking the triple vow of poverty, chastity, and obedience were mendicants who moved about the country using any house of their own order as a base.
  • Its topics included not only monks but canons, mendicants, and other groups.
  • Such tunics were deliberately patched and made ragged to indicate their wearers' status as religious mendicants.



Pronunciation: /ˈmɛndɪk(ə)nsi/
Example sentences
  • Pankaj is like those dilettantes one reads about in Somerset Maugham, who fear boredom more than old age, death, poverty or mendicancy.
  • For the Buddha's monks this meant a life of mendicancy, of poverty but not of self-mortification, of celibacy and of gentle honesty.
  • True to his vow of mendicancy he had relinquished the long held post of Prime Minister of Vijayanagara, the legendary Hindu kingdom he was instrumental in establishing with Harihara and Bukka in AD 1336.


Late Middle English: from Latin mendicant- 'begging', from the verb mendicare, from mendicus 'beggar', from mendum 'fault'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: men¦di|cant

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