friar

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friar [Lat. frater=brother], member of certain Roman Catholic religious orders, notably, the Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, and Augustinians. Although a general form of address in the New Testament, since the 13th cent. it has been used to describe members of orders forbidden to hold property. They are called mendicants because they were expected to work or, as later developed, beg for a living and were not bound to a particular monastery. The Council of Trent loosened the restriction on property ownership. Friars differ from cloistered, contempletive monks by their widespread outside activity and by their highly centralized organization. See monasticism.

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Friar (Lat., frater, ‘brother’). As applied to Christian religious, a usage which passed into the Romance languages and English, a friar was one who belonged to a mendicant order, as distinguished from those who belonged to monastic orders and were not itinerant. The best-known orders of friars are the Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, and Augustinians.

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friar Member of certain religious orders. The four main orders – the Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, and Augustinians – were founded in the 13th century. Friars differ from cloistered monks in that they are involved in widespread outside activity and are more centrally organized.

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fri·ar / ˈfrīər/ • n. a member of any of certain religious orders of men, esp. the four mendicant orders (Augustinians, Carmelites, Dominicans, and Franciscans).

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friar a member of any of certain religious orders of men, especially the four mendicant orders, Augustinians, Carmelites, Dominicans, and Franciscans (the Franciscans, who regard themselves of humbler rank than members of other orders, are known as the Friars Minor). The word is recorded from Middle English, and comes via Old French from Latin frater ‘brother’.

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friar XIII. ME. frere — (O)F. frère brother, friar :- L. frāter, frātr- BROTHER.