hermit


hermit
hermitic, hermitical, hermitish, adj.hermitically, adv.hermitlike, adj.hermitry, hermitship, n.
/herr"mit/, n.
1. a person who has withdrawn to a solitary place for a life of religious seclusion.
2. any person living in seclusion; recluse.
3. Zool. an animal of solitary habits.
4. Ornith. any of numerous hummingbirds of the genera Glaucis and Phaethornis, having curved bills and dull-colored rather than iridescent plumage.
5. a spiced molasses cookie often containing raisins or nuts.
6. Obs. a beadsman.
[1175-1225; ME ermite, hermite, heremite < OF < LL eremita < Gk eremités living in a desert, equiv. to erém(ia) desert (deriv. of erêmos desolate) + -ites -ITE1]
Syn. 1. eremite, monastic, anchorite, cenobite.

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Individual who shuns society to live in solitude, often for religious reasons.

The first Christian hermits appeared in Egypt in the 3rd century AD, escaping persecution by withdrawing to the desert and leading a life of prayer and penance. The first hermit was probably Paul of Thebes с AD 250. Other famous hermits included St. Anthony of Egypt, who established an early form of Christian monasticism in the 4th century, and the pillar hermit Simeon Stylites. The communal life of monasteries eventually tempered the austerities of the hermit's life. In Western Christianity the eremitic life died out, but it has persisted in Eastern Christianity.

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      any of several hummingbird species of the genus Phaethornis. See hummingbird.

also called  Eremite,  

      one who retires from society, primarily for religious reasons, and lives in solitude. In Christianity the word (from Greek erēmitēs, “living in the desert”) is used interchangeably with anchorite, although the two were originally distinguished on the basis of location: an anchorite selected a cell attached to a church or near a populous centre, while a hermit retired to the wilderness.

      The first Christian hermits appeared by the end of the 3rd century in Egypt, where one reaction to the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Decius was flight into the desert to preserve the faith and to lead a life of prayer and penance. Paul of Thebes, who fled to the desert about 250, has been considered the first hermit.

      The excessive austerity and other extremes of the early hermits' lives were tempered by the establishment of cenobite (common life) communities. The foundation was thus laid in the 4th century for the institution of monasticism (i.e., monks living a common life according to an established rule). The eremitic life eventually died out in Western Christianity, but it has continued in Eastern Christianity. See also monasticism (building construction).

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hermit — Her mit, n. [OE. ermite, eremite, heremit, heremite, F. hermite, ermite, L. eremita, Gr. ?, fr. ? lonely, solitary. Cf. {Eremite}.] 1. A person who retires from society and lives in solitude; a recluse; an anchoret; especially, one who so lives… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hermit — early 12c., religious recluse, from O.Fr. (h)eremite, from L.L. ermita, from Gk. eremites, lit. person of the desert, from eremia desert, solitude, from eremos uninhabited, empty, desolate, from PIE *ere to separate. Transferred sense of person… …   Etymology dictionary

  • hermit — [hʉr′mit] n. [ME hermite < OFr < LL(Ec) eremita < LGr erēmitēs, a hermit < Gr, of the desert < erēmos, desolate < IE base * er , loose, distant, to separate > Sans * árma (pl.), fragments, ruins] 1. a person who lives alone… …   English World dictionary

  • hermit — eremite, anchorite, *recluse, cenobite Contrasted words: *religious, monk, friar, nun: *ascetic, mystic …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • hermit — [n] person who chose to live alone outside of human society anchoret, anchorite, ascetic, eremite, misanthrope, pillarist, recluse, skeptic, solitaire, solitarian, solitary, stylite; concepts 361,423 …   New thesaurus

  • hermit — ► NOUN 1) a person living in solitude as a religious discipline. 2) a reclusive or solitary person. DERIVATIVES hermitic adjective. ORIGIN Greek er mit s, from er mos solitary …   English terms dictionary

  • Hermit — A hermit (from the Greek anachōreō , signifying to withdraw , to depart into the country outside the circumvallated city ), recluse and solitary . However, it is important to retain a clear distinction between the vocation of hermits and that of… …   Wikipedia

  • hermit — UK [ˈhɜː(r)mɪt] / US [ˈhɜrmɪt] noun [countable] Word forms hermit : singular hermit plural hermits 1) someone who chooses to live alone or spend most of their time alone 2) someone who chooses to live alone and far away from society for religious …   English dictionary

  • hermit — n. 1 an early Christian recluse. 2 any person living in solitude. Phrases and idioms: hermit crab any crab of the family Paguridae that lives in a cast off mollusc shell for protection. hermit thrush a migratory N. American thrush, Catharus… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Hermit — Le hermit est une langue éteinte des langues des îles de l Amirauté en province de Manus. Son code ISO était llf. Il était parlé sur l île éponyme et sur les îles Luf et Maron. Portail des langues …   Wikipédia en Français


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