Definition of monk in English:

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Pronunciation: /mʌŋk/


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, male member of a religious order, religious, contemplative;
abbot, prior;
novice, oblate, postulant;
Benedictine, Black Monk, Cluniac, Carthusian, Cistercian, White Monk, Culdee;
Buddhism  lama, talapoin;
Islam  marabout
historical mendicant
rare cenobite, cloisterer, religioner, religieux



Pronunciation: /ˈmʌŋkhʊd/


Pronunciation: /ˈmʌŋkɪʃ/
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.




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

  • monarch from Late Middle English:

    The word monarch comes via late Latin from Greek monarkhēs, from monos ‘alone’ and arkhein ‘to rule’. Monos also lies behind monastery (Late Middle English) which comes from monazein ‘to live alone’, while monk (Old English) comes from monakos ‘solitary’.

Words that rhyme with monk

bunk, chunk, clunk, drunk, dunk, flunk, funk, gunk, hunk, Monck, plunk, shrunk, skunk, slunk, stunk, sunk, thunk, trunk

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: monk

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