Friar

views updated

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.

friar

views updated

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.

friar

views updated

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

friar

views updated

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’.

friar

views updated

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