Definition of Hesychast in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈhesiˌkast/


A member of a movement dedicated to contemplation, originating among the Orthodox monks of Mount Athos in the 14th century.
Example sentences
  • Symbolic actions are crucial to Eastern Christian liturgy and private prayer, most evident in the so-called ‘physical method’ of prayer taught by the Byzantine Hesychasts.
  • Seeking the ways of development of the spiritual heart, Hesychasts invented the method called Jesus prayer.
  • These links were forged long before the coming of Plethon to Mistra, but Plethon's neoplatonism was clearly related to the Hesychasts of Mt. Athos.


Mid 19th century: from late Greek hēsukhastēs 'hermit', from hēsukhazein 'be still', from hēsukhos 'still'.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.