hermit


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to hermit: hermit thrush

hermit

[Gr.,=desert], one who lives in solitude, especially from ascetic motives. Hermits are known in many cultures. Permanent solitude was common in ancient Christian asceticismasceticism
, rejection of bodily pleasures through sustained self-denial and self-mortification, with the objective of strengthening spiritual life. Asceticism has been common in most major world religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity: all of
..... Click the link for more information.
; St. AnthonyAnthony, Saint
, 251?–c.350, Egyptian hermit, called St. Anthony of Egypt and St. Anthony the Abbot. At the age of 20 he gave away his large inheritance and became a hermit.
..... Click the link for more information.
 of Egypt and St. Simeon StylitesSimeon Stylites, Saint
[Gr.,= of a pillar], d. 459?, Syrian hermit. He lived for more than 35 years on a small platform on top of a high pillar. He had many imitators (called stylites) and gained the reverence of the whole Christian world. Feast: Jan. 5.
..... Click the link for more information.
 were noted hermits. Many extreme Franciscans (Spirituals) of the 13th and the 14th cent. were hermits, among them Pope St. Celestine. In the East the hermit, or eremetical, life was widely held to be the more perfect form of monasticismmonasticism
, form of religious life, usually conducted in a community under a common rule. Monastic life is bound by ascetical practices expressed typically in the vows of celibacy, poverty, and obedience, called the evangelical counsels.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and was open only to those who had first passed years in a monastic community. Monasticism in the West developed along the less rigorous communal lines; the CarthusiansCarthusians
, small order of monks of the Roman Catholic Church [Lat. abbr.,=O. Cart.]. It was established by St. Bruno at La Grande Chartreuse (see Chartreuse, Grande) in France in 1084.
..... Click the link for more information.
 are well-known exceptions. The hermit or anchorite of the ancient church lived in the desert, commonly walled up in a cell with only a window. In medieval Europe the cell usually connected with a church. The Ancren RiwleAncren Riwle
or Ancrene Wisse
[Mid. Eng.,=anchoresses' rule], English tract written c.1200 by an anonymous English churchman for the instruction of three young ladies about to become religious recluses.
..... Click the link for more information.
 was written for English anchoresses. Juliana of NorwichJuliana of Norwich
, d. c.1443, English religious writer, an anchoress, or hermit, of Norwich called Mother (or Dame) Juliana or Julian. Her work, completed c.1393, Revelations of Divine Love, is an expression of mystical fervor in the form of 16 visions of Jesus.
..... Click the link for more information.
 was a famous English anchoress.

hermit

one of the early Christian recluses
References in classic literature ?
"O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!" The Hermit crossed his brow.
When he had ended, the holy hermit was a moment silent, then said: "My son, I have attended to thy story, and I know the maiden.
"Unfortunate youth!" said the holy hermit, "but for thine indiscretion thou mightst have had her for two."
The jolly Hermit at length agrees to venture thither, and to enquire for Jack Fletcher, which is the name assumed by the King.
* Like the Hermit, the Shepherd makes havock amongst the
* Hermit, too, he has his peculiar phrases of compotation, the
as illustrating manners, is still more curious than the King and the Hermit; but it is foreign to the present purpose.
ha!--the breaking of the hermit's door, and the death-cry of the dragon, and the clangour of the shield!--say, rather, the rending of her coffin, and the grating of the iron hinges of her prison, and her struggles within the coppered archway of the vault!
While some may choose the hermit lifestyle for religious reasons, in the name of science or for a deeper self-understanding - Knight's only goal was to get lost in the woods forever.
Charles de Foucauld was more than a hermit; he found strength in his times of solitude and prayer to do radical works of love and cross-cultural acts of resistance against the powers and principalities of his time.
That risk is even more pronounced for certain types of hermit crab, who 'remodel' their shells by removing some internal structures.
This obviously esteemed speaker was not a hermit crab of tomorrow but, rather, one of yesterday, the bespectacled, the lauded, the beloved industrialist and thinker Dr.