Monk (?), n. [AS. munuc, munec, munc, L. monachus, Gr. , fr. alone. Cf. Monachism.]


A man who retires from the ordinary temporal concerns of the world, and devotes himself to religion; one of a religious community of men inhabiting a monastery, and bound by vows to a life of chastity, obedience, and poverty.

"A monk out of his cloister."


Monks in some respects agree with regulars, as in the substantial vows of religion; but in other respects monks and regulars differ; for that regulars, vows excepted, are not tied up to so strict a rule of life as monks are. Ayliffe.

2. Print.

A blotch or spot of ink on a printed page, caused by the ink not being properly distributed. It is distinguished from a friar, or white spot caused by a deficiency of ink.


A piece of tinder made of agaric, used in firing the powder hose or train of a mine.

4. Zool. (a)

A South American monkey (Pithecia monachus); also applied to other species, as Cebus xanthocephalus.


The European bullfinch.

Monk bat Zool., a South American and West Indian bat (Molossus nasutus); -- so called because the males live in communities by themselves. -- Monk birdZool., the friar bird. -- Monk seal Zool., a species of seal (Monachus albiventer) inhabiting the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the adjacent parts of the Atlantic. -- Monk's rhubarb Bot., a kind of dock; -- also called patience (Rumex Patientia).


© Webster 1913.