monk

Greek: monachos

Term originally applied to hermits or anchorites but from an early period, by popular rather than scientific designation, a cenobite, or member of a community of men living apart from the world, under the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, in accordance with the rule of a particular order. The word monk seldom occurs in the official language of the Church. By frequent use of the Latin equivalent, monachi (singular: monachus) , to describe the brethren in the Rule of Saint Benedict, whether they lived as hermits or in community, it came to be associated with those religious bodies which in some measure reproduce the old Benedictine rule, i.e., Cluniacs, Cistercians, Trappists, as distinguished from the orders of mendicant friars, “clerks regular,” and religious congregations of men. Other well-known orders of monks are the Carthusians, Premonstratensians, and Camaldolese. See also