Meaning of mendicant in English:


Pronunciation /ˈmɛndɪk(ə)nt/

See synonyms for mendicant

Translate mendicant into Spanish


  • 1Given to begging.

    ‘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.’
    • ‘Whether we're aware of it or not, our homes are veritable wildlife parks, from the obvious predators such as rats and mice to the more discreet dust mite or the mendicant bluebottle.’
    begging, cadging
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    1. 1.1Of or denoting one of the religious orders who originally relied solely on alms.
      ‘a mendicant friar’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Furthermore, the universities quickly became a locus of conflict between the regular clergy and the newer mendicant orders, especially the Dominicans and the Franciscans.’
      • ‘By the fifteenth century, the spirituality of the mendicant orders had thoroughly permeated Florentine society, not only through preaching, but also through private reading and meditation.’
      • ‘Unlike the other mendicant orders founded in the thirteenth century, the Franciscans were blessed, and burdened, by having a profoundly charismatic founder.’
      • ‘In the Middle Ages, a growing emphasis on the humanity and passion of Christ led to ascetical practices based on an imitation of the physical sufferings of Christ, in particular amongst the mendicant orders.’
      • ‘This was matched by a spiritual resurgence which we see very much in what was known as ‘the observant reform’ which was a reform of the mendicant orders like the Franciscans and the Dominicans.’
      • ‘The mendicant orders, particularly the Dominicans, developed a supranational organization directed by provincial and general chapters and ultimately subject to the papacy.’
      • ‘A fakir is an initiate in a mendicant Sufi order.’
      • ‘Expressions of ecstatic, unmediated emotional identification with a sacred figure were common in the art of the mendicant orders in general and in that of the Franciscans in particular.’
      • ‘Originally, the community of bhikus was a mendicant order which travelled extensively, other than during the rainy season, and required only limited necessities.’
      • ‘The mendicant orders, of course, had always laid heavy emphasis on the spoken word in preaching and teaching.’
      • ‘So the monks that were members of this order were wandering, mendicant monks, using the Shakuhachi as a tool of enlightenment, as a tool of spiritual practice.’
      • ‘When the mendicant friars arose in the thirteenth century, there was a need for more portable books, to accompany the wandering preachers in their work.’
      • ‘The late Robert Brentano examines the interaction of the countryside and the city in terms of the mendicant friars who lived in and moved between both worlds.’
      • ‘Early in the thirteenth century, the monastic map of western Europe was transformed by the emergence of the mendicant friars.’
      • ‘The appeal of wandering mendicant religious teachers like the Buddha lay partly in the contrast between their message and that of the Brahmans.’
      • ‘Following the foundation of two mendicant orders between 1205 and 1220, for a pope to name himself after either Francis or Dominic would have been to choose sides between two formidable organisations.’
      • ‘With its mendicant and ascetic traditions, Buddhism has always been associated with non-violence, non-confrontation, and the inner or spiritual life.’
      • ‘In her study of mendicant sermons on the Magdalen, for example, Katherine Jansen finds no real difference between the various orders of friars, all of which were actively encouraging their lay congregations to confess.’
      • ‘The Capuchins had first begun in 1525 when Matteo da Bascio, a lone member of a Franciscan friary in the Marches of Ancona, sought a return to a stricter observance of the mendicant life and an urban ministry to the poor and the sick.’


  • 1A beggar.

    ‘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.’
    • ‘They are the patricians of the pavement - those few among the large group of urchins, alms-seekers and mendicants who have become part of the city's lifescape.’
    • ‘We meet unassuming mendicants who may turn out to be rishis in disguise, pilgrims who may be exiled kings, or noblemen undertaking acts of penance.’
    • ‘The only hangers on are a handful of mendicants who are stretched out on the cool stone floor of the mandapam or seated on the benches inside the park.’
    • ‘The form is often associated with wandering mendicants, who sing at festivals and other auspicious occasions.’
    • ‘As mendicants, they were accustomed to travel and not interested in personal gain.’
    • ‘After the poisonous fumes from the factory blurred his vision and life two decades ago, the tailor in Nawab Nagar became a mendicant.’
    • ‘Colonies also offered places in which to dump the increasing numbers of mendicants and criminals which thronged the cities of Europe.’
    • ‘If they were poor to begin with, they would scarcely be better off as mendicants wholly dependent on the charity of poor householders.’
    • ‘The paduka or toe-knob sandals were usually worn by ascetics and mendicants.’
    • ‘Eighty mendicants, we are told, sat down each day at her table, and blessed her name.’
    • ‘However, being a poor mendicant, I couldn't afford to buy any and so I just sat there, overpowered by the smell of delicious pakoras, eating my bag of rice.’
    • ‘The sight of a holy man, who seemed peaceful and content, finally inspired him to forsake palace, wife and family and become a wandering mendicant.’
    • ‘When an old man tells him that there is a flaw in the wall as in all material things, the Sultan leaves his throne and becomes a traveling mendicant.’
    • ‘His role as a peripatetic mendicant allowed him a freedom to see every way of life and every corner of his civilization.’
    • ‘He showed us his favorite statue, that of an old philosopher turned mendicant, and I think I shall always associate him - in his shabby but clean old gray suit - with this particular piece of Buddhist statuary.’
    • ‘With a cloth over his mouth to prevent his breath from inhaling any airborne creature, he spent the following nine years as a wandering, barefoot mendicant.’
    beggar, beggarman, beggarwoman, tramp, vagrant, vagabond
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    1. 1.1A member of a mendicant order.
      ‘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.’
      • ‘Saniotis takes us to one of Northern India's most famous Indo-Muslim shrines, a place where religious mendicants, known as faqir, gather to worship through mystical communion with saints.’
      • ‘This decision was not unprecedented in India, and the samana movement - a counter-culture of homeless religious mendicants - was already well established by the Buddha's time.’
      • ‘The shrine also attracts Indo-Muslim mystics called faqir, religious mendicants who observe lives of poverty, chastity, meditation and prayer.’
      • ‘They gave up, it is said, their desire for sons, for wealth, and for the worlds, and led the life of religious mendicants.’
      • ‘These experiences brought home to him the reality of suffering and the nature of the human predicament, and turning his back on family life he renounced the world and became a religious mendicant.’
      • ‘Essentially, the azad were itinerant mendicants who regularly practised extreme ascetic styles of religious devotion, as a mark of their ‘other worldliness.’’
      • ‘Verastique's study is, at best, a broad text-book like survey of pre-Hispanic religion and culture and of the Christianization programs of mendicants and diocesan clergy.’
      • ‘The mendicants often operated independently of local bishops, thereby becoming natural allies of the papacy, which in turn strengthened the hand of the orders in the university.’
      • ‘The mendicants enjoyed rapid and phenomenal success, attracting support not only from the crown and aristocracy, who frequently employed them as confessors and advisers, but also from urban patrons.’
      • ‘However important the preached word was to the mendicants and the late medieval princes of the pulpit, it was still ancillary to the sacraments.’
      • ‘Others attribute authorship to the mendicants who provided spiritual counsel to women in the Liege diocese.’
      • ‘The mendicants called such a life of poverty and itinerant preaching the vita apostolica.’
      • ‘An ancient tale tells of four mendicants who had chosen to abandon wealth, possessions and ambition in hope of benefiting the world.’
      • ‘Walking among them was a wandering mendicant, with the usual orange robe, wooden staff, and begging bowl, his shaven head painted with the lines of Shiva.’


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