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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ We paused now and again at some hostelry and, on one occasion, a Benedictine monastery, I forget its name.
▪ The former Benedictine monastery of St George has found a new life as a museum and is well worth visiting.
▪ To reach the centre visitors take a boat from a quiet Buddhist monastery across a sleepy brown river.
▪ In May 1986, Bimal's own Buddhist monastery in Dighinala was burned to the ground.
▪ We went together to Lantau, and travelled on a really hair-raising bus journey to a Buddhist monastery in the mountains.
▪ He was a gentle character, who perhaps would have been happier as the abbot of a Buddhist monastery.
▪ The landholding of few of the great monasteries of northern Francia shows anything more than temporary dislocation.
▪ He was, however, immensely impressed by the great number of monasteries and churches.
▪ The rear section of the bull to the east is identified by the medieval monastery sites.
▪ The cellars of the present building are adapted from the cloisters of a medieval monastery.
▪ The remains include parts of an Anglo-Saxon church, a Norman church and a medieval monastery.
▪ Many old established monasteries acted as minsters, or the major churches serving particular estates.
▪ Fifteen miles away is Forde Abbey, a 900-year old Cistercian monastery with gardens.
▪ Edmund was allowed to enter a monastery, where after his death he was buried in chains at his own request.
▪ Sexburga, entered this monastery after the death of her husband, King Erconbert, and later succeeded her sister as abbess.
▪ He returned to Forli as a newly ordained priest and founded there a new monastery for his order.
▪ Both founded monasteries, and both propounded rules for individual salvation.
▪ In 798 he founded a monastery at Winchcombe, where a new church was dedicated in 811.
▪ He founded two monasteries in Wearmouth, then traveled extensively.
▪ Ivan founded a monastery at Cetinje, and it was from the monks who lived there that the orthodox bishops were chosen.
▪ Empress Adelaide founded monasteries, convents, and donated generously to the needy.
▪ Fifteen miles away is Forde Abbey, a 900-year old Cistercian monastery with gardens.
▪ In the end, they met among the monastery buildings at Melrose, on its river-girt promontory thirty miles inland from Berwick.
▪ Leaving his monastery in the countryside, Bishop Martin took his place at the see wearing his animal skins.
▪ The church itself became a two-class system: the ascetic monasteries versus the more worldly regular clergy.
▪ They perceived that the acquisition of wealth and privilege exposed churches and monasteries to new dangers.
▪ To protect themselves they also determined to withdraw to a monastery.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Monastery \Mon"as*te*ry\, n.; pl. Monasteries. [L. monasterium, Gr. ?, fr. ? a solitary, a monk, fr. ? to be alone, live in solitude, fr. mo`nos alone. Cf. Minister.] A house of religious retirement, or of secusion from ordinary temporal concerns, especially for monks; -- more rarely applied to such a house for females.

Syn: Convent; abbey; priory. See Cloister.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1400, from Old French monastere "monastery" (14c.) and directly from Late Latin monasterium, from Ecclesiastical Greek monasterion "a monastery," from monazein "to live alone," from monos "alone" (see mono-). With suffix -terion "place for (doing something)." Originally applied to houses of any religious order, male or female.


n. Place of residence for members of a religious community (especially monk).


n. the residence of a religious community


A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monks or nuns, whether living in communities or alone ( hermits). A monastery generally includes a place reserved for prayer which may be a chapel, church or temple, and may also serve as an oratory.

Monasteries vary greatly in size, comprising a small dwelling accommodating only a hermit, or in the case of communities anything from a single building housing only one senior and two or three junior monks or nuns, to vast complexes and estates housing tens or hundreds. A monastery complex typically comprises a number of buildings which include a church, dormitory, cloister, refectory, library, balneary and infirmary. Depending on the location, the monastic order and the occupation of its inhabitants, the complex may also include a wide range of buildings that facilitate self-sufficiency and service to the community. These may include a hospice, a school and a range of agricultural and manufacturing buildings such as a barn, a forge or a brewery.

In English usage, the term monastery is generally used to denote the buildings of a community of monks. In modern usage, convent tends to be applied only to institutions of female monastics (nuns), particularly communities of teaching or nursing religious sisters. Historically, a convent denoted a house of friars (reflecting the Latin), now more commonly called a friary. Various religions may apply these terms in more specific ways.

Usage examples of "monastery".

He saw that the epicentre of Aberrancy always lay at the site of a Weaver monastery, and the monasteries were always built around the witchstones.

Vrondisi, the monastery at the foot of Psiloritis, came down to the rich Turkish village of Suros and killed its bloodthirsty aga, just as he had bound two Christians to the treadmill of the well in his garden and was making them turn the wheel.

In the annals of the abby of Margain in far-off Wales, a monk set down in the chronicles of his monastery the story as he had heard it perhaps considerably after the occurrence, from some source now suspected of being Guillaume de Braose or Hubert de Burgh, or some of their followings.

The evidence of a vile murder disappeared into the French countryside, and its perpetrator, Cardinal Jean-Francois Blasi, now held the key to the secrets of the Council of the Apocrypha and consequently, their two closely-guarded monasteries: des Gardiens and del Cancello.

Then the aumbries of the most famous monasteries were thrown open, cases were unlocked and caskets were undone, and volumes that had slumbered through long ages in their tombs wake up and are astonished, and those that had lain hidden in dark places are bathed in the ray of unwonted light.

The wastes fell down a pipe to biogas chambers below the Wheel, which, supplemented by vegetable and animal wastes from the monastery overhead, supplied the Wheel with its methane lighting.

The bubbler ripped loose, hurtled away, and impacted on the roof of a monastery half a mile downrange.

It might be that one of his caves is down in the bowels of the Monastery somewhere, but who knows?

The abbot, whom I recognized by his cross, came towards me and asked if I wished to see the church and monastery.

I am here as a missionary, to bring converts to the true faith and to establish a Capeline monastery here.

Yet the custom must have been much older, for in the accounts of Dame Agnes Merett, Cellaress of Syon Monastery, at Isleworth, in 29 Henry VIII.

He seemed barely awake as he asked twenty copecks as the fare to the monastery and back, but came to himself a moment afterwards, just as I was about to get in, and, touching up his horse with the spare end of the reins, started to drive off and leave me.

The next morning he was up at daybreak, and long before the sun had risen above the highest peak of Caucasus, he had departed from the Lars Monastery, leaving a handsome donation in the poor-box toward the various charitable works in which the brethren were engaged, such as the rescue of travellers lost in the snow, or the burial of the many victims murdered on or near the Pass of Dariel by the bands of fierce mountain robbers and assassins, that at certain seasons infest that solitary region.

All that was needed to secure my happiness seemed a library of my own choosing, and I did not doubt but that the abbot would let me have what books I pleased if I promised to leave them to the monastery after my death.

Some of these hardly gotten monuments were taken in a manner out of the dunghill, since they were found by me in the corner of despoiled churches or monasteries where they were close to ruin from rotting away.