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[muhngk] /mʌŋk/

(in Christianity) a man who has withdrawn from the world for religious reasons, especially as a member of an order of cenobites living according to a particular rule and under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
(in any religion) a man who is a member of a monastic order:
a Buddhist monk.
Printing. a dark area on a printed page caused by uneven inking of the plate or type.
Compare (def 2).
a male member of a religious community bound by vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience related adjective monastic
(sometimes capital) a fancy pigeon having a bald pate and often large feathered feet
Thelonious (Sphere) (θəˈləʊnɪəs). 1920–82, US jazz pianist and composer
a variant spelling of (George) Monck

Old English munuc “monk” (used also of women), from Proto-Germanic *muniko- (cf. Old Frisian munek, Middle Dutch monic, Old High German munih, Ger. Mönch), an early borrowing from Vulgar Latin *monicus (source of French moine, Spanish monje, Italian monaco), from Late Latin monachus “monk,” originally “religious hermit,” from Ecclesiastical Greek monakhos “monk,” noun use of a classical Greek adjective meaning “solitary,” from monos “alone” (see mono-). For substitution of -o- for -u-, see come.

In England, before the Reformation, the term was not applied to the members of the mendicant orders, who were always called friars. From the 16th c. to the 19th c., however, it was usual to speak of the friars as a class of monks. In recent times the distinction between the terms has been carefully observed by well-informed writers. In French and Ger. the equivalent of monk is applied equally to ‘monks’ and ‘friars.’ [OED]

Men under religious vows who live in a community and whose work is usually centered on their community, which is called a monastery. Buddhism and Christianity have notable groups of monks. In Christianity, the monks are members of religious orders.



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