See also: Monk

English Edit

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Pronunciation Edit

  • IPA(key): /mʌŋk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌŋk

Etymology 1 Edit

From Middle English monk, from Old English munuc, from Proto-West Germanic *munik, from Late Latin monicus, variant of monachus, from Ancient Greek μοναχός (monakhós, single, solitary), from μόνος (mónos, alone).

Alternative forms Edit

Noun Edit

monk (plural monks)

  1. A male member of a monastic order who has devoted his life for religious service.
    • 1802, Joseph Ritson, “Poets of the Fifteenth Century”, in Bibliographia Poetica[1]:
      This is believed to be the completeſt liſt of this voluminous, proſaick, and driveling monk, that can be formed, without acceſs, at leaſt, to every manuſcript library in the kingdom, which would be very difficult, if not imposſible, to obtain.
  2. In earlier usage, an eremite or hermit devoted to solitude, as opposed to a cenobite, who lived communally.
    • 1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 20, in The Dust of Conflict[2]:
      Tony's face expressed relief, and Nettie sat silent for a moment until the vicar said “It was a generous impulse, but it may have been a momentary one, while in the case of monk and crusader there must have been a sustaining purpose, and possibly a great abnegation, a leaving of lands and possessions.”
  3. (slang) A male who leads an isolated life; a loner, a hermit.
  4. (slang) An unmarried man who does not have sexual relationships.
  5. (slang) A judge.
  6. (printing, archaic) An inkblot.
  7. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) A piece of tinder made of agaric, used in firing the powder hose or train of a mine.
  8. A South American monkey (Pithecia monachus); also applied to other species, as Cebus xanthosternos.
  9. The bullfinch, common bullfinch, European bullfinch, or Eurasian bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula).
  10. The monkfish.
  11. (historical) A fuse for firing mines.
Synonyms Edit
Derived terms Edit
Related terms Edit
Translations Edit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb Edit

monk (third-person singular simple present monks, present participle monking, simple past and past participle monked)

  1. To be a monk.
    • 1990, Honoré de Balzac, James Lewis May, Jean de Boschère, Ten droll tales, page 25:
      "Ah!" she cried, "thou art the prettiest little monk that ever monked it in this blessed, amorous town of Constance!"
    • 2002, David Pownall, Plays two - Volume 2, →ISBN, page 41:
      Good people, if you're ever short of a job, don't take up monking for a living.
  2. To act like a monk; especially to be contemplative.
    • 1961, Snowy Egret - Volumes 25-30, page 74:
      Many a scholar, making wings of candlewicks to flap away old darkness, monked his life to fasting long while feasting upon new light.
    • 1971, Bill Amidon, Charge ...!, page 196:
      ...drinking: monking on a mountain: plodding in self-inflicted darkness so that the entrance into light would be heightened and supercharged: sacrifice and gain: the meek shall inherit the earth.
    • 2001, Kevin Everod Quashie, R. Joyce Lausch, Keith D. Miller, New Bones: Contemporary Black Writers in America, page 482:
      Sometimes, in the joint, time gets long. It's best then to just sit and think. I call it "monking," because you can become so inspired, with revelations and understandings. After a monking spell, you may get angry in a strange way.
    • 2017, Neil McKenty, In the Stillness Dancing: The Journey of John Main, →ISBN:
      There were half-serious references to his 'going monking'; his new 'religion'; his grey habit; the magnificent house presented to the community in Montreal, etc. (“What price the vow of poverty, etc.”)
  3. To monkey or meddle; to behave in a manner that is not systematic.
    • 2015, Tooty Nolan, Earplug Adventures: An Exaltation of Earplugs, →ISBN:
      The Avatar spoke gently as she responded to his jibe. "Now fucking get aboard and stop monking on like a schoolboy, you silly earplug.
    • 2008, Vereen Bell, Swamp Water, →ISBN, page 197:
      "You just go into the swamp and keep monking around, and maybe in a week er so, somebody'll open up and begin shooting at you, and if you live long enough to git curious about it, that'll be Tom Keefer."
    • 2016, Ring Lardner, Treat 'Em Rough - Letters From Jack The Kaiser Killer, →ISBN:
      ... because when a man is a corporal its all head work you might say and a man ought to keep their mind on their job evenings as well as day times and I felt like I couldn't do that and be monking with French at the same time...
  4. To be intoxicated or confused.
    • 2011, Devon W. Carbado, Dwight A. McBride, Donald Weise, Black Like Us: A Century of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual African American Fiction, →ISBN:
      I looked up from the thick cotton mat, unsure where my legs were. “She looks monked up.” “maybe her brain is damaged, huh, miss Bryant?”
    • 2015, Tonya Craft, Accused: My Fight for Truth, Justice, and the Strength to Forgive, →ISBN:
      She looked down at herself and said, “Oh, I got that from monking.” “From what?” “Monking. You ain't never done meth, girl?” she said.
  5. To be attached in a way that sticks out.
    • 1981, Kalu Uka, A Consummation of Fire: A Novel, page 9:
      Molten roofing north, lead dripping down south, stand like those immobilized columns of arctic water west, stalagmites, monked and housed or stamped and dudleyed east, in school texts.
    • 1987, The Pioneer - Volumes 111-122, page 11:
      All these controls and screens are monked on to a massive network of computers that coordinates the sights.
    • 2014, Ken Babstock, On Malice, →ISBN, page 63:
      Those shelters formed chapels where aged forms of the implants monked out in built cells, little churchy cells that perished or grew plain, quivering and hidden from sight under alders.

See also Edit

References Edit

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “monk”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)

Etymology 2 Edit

By shortening.

Noun Edit

monk (plural monks)

  1. (colloquial) A monkey.
    • 1932, Delos W. Lovelace, King Kong, published 1965, page 64:
      ‘We wuz talkin’ and the monk got loose, and she sent me off to catch him.’

Middle English Edit

Alternative forms Edit

Etymology Edit

From Old English munuc.

Noun Edit

monk (plural monks)

  1. monk
    • 1407, The Testimony of William Thorpe, pages 40–41:
      Also Filip of Repintoun whilis he was a chanoun of Leycetre, Nycol Herforde, dane Geffrey of Pikeringe, monke of Biland and a maistir dyuynyte, and Ioon Purueye, and manye other whiche weren holden rightwise men and prudent, taughten and wroten bisili this forseide lore of Wiclef, and conformeden hem therto.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)

Descendants Edit

  • English: monk
  • Scots: monk, munk, mounk

Saterland Frisian Edit

Etymology Edit

From Old Frisian mong, mang, from Proto-Germanic *mangą (crowd). Compare English among.

Preposition Edit


  1. among

Synonyms Edit