Definition of monastery in English:


See synonyms for monastery

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nounplural noun monasteries

  • A building or buildings occupied by a community of monks living under religious vows.

    ‘In the middle of the 19th century abbot of the monastery was a monk named Genadii.’
    • ‘Soon the effects of the new teaching were widely felt, with monks and nuns leaving their monasteries and convents.’
    • ‘Wine has always had spiritual and religious significance, and monks and monasteries have long been regarded as playing a crucial part in wine history.’
    • ‘There are also monasteries where monks and nuns practice a life of religious devotion and scholarship.’
    • ‘In 1752 he became a monk at the monastery of the Escorial, and a year later was admitted to holy orders.’
    • ‘He was on his way to visit his brother Raimond, who was a monk in the Dominican monastery there.’
    • ‘A number of Anglo-Norman monasteries received Norman monks, not least in order to further the Conquest.’
    • ‘There were more than 6000 monasteries and nunneries in the three regions of Tibet - U-Tsang, Dotö and Domey.’
    • ‘In some monasteries, religious work was defined as tending the soul by contemplating God.’
    • ‘Shenouda subjected monasteries, long immune from episcopal control, to his papacy.’
    • ‘Today, ashrams and monasteries of various Hindu sects keep the traditions of classical learning alive.’
    • ‘When monasteries die out, the patriarch sells the property cheaply to pay his bills.’
    • ‘The monasteries were also the birthplace of scholasticism.’
    • ‘Large monasteries were known as abbeys, whilst smaller ones were called priories and were often set up near an abbey.’
    • ‘Griffiths thinks monasteries have the last, best chance at keeping this ancient tradition alive.’
    • ‘Some monasteries lived by this rule: Speak only if you can improve upon silence.’
    • ‘He had an equally high-handed way with the monasteries in his diocese and in his filet year as bishop deposed no fewer than eleven abbots and priors.’
    • ‘For example, in medieval monasteries the abbot's rule was definitive.’
    • ‘The number of parishes and monasteries has grown substantially with the restoration of religious freedom.’
    • ‘He chose Lindisfarne as his base and established a church and monastery here.’
    religious house, religious community
    View synonyms



/ˈmänəˌsterē/ /ˈmɑnəˌstɛri/


Late Middle English via ecclesiastical Latin from ecclesiastical Greek monastērion, from monazein ‘live alone’, from monos ‘alone’.