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Alternative forms[edit]


From Ancient Greek ἀναχωρητής (anakhōrētḗs, anchoret), from ἀναχωρέω (anakhōréō, I withdraw, retire), via Latin anchorēta, a variant of anachorēta (anchorite).


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anchorite (plural anchorites)

  1. One who lives in isolation or seclusion, especially for religious reasons; hermit.
    • 1777, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The School for Scandal, IV.iii:
      Oh, hang him? He's a very Anchorite—a young Hermit!
    • 1848-50, William Makepeace Thackeray, Pendennis, ch 3:
      The household was diminished, and its expenses curtailed. There was a very blank anchorite repast when Pen dined from home: and he himself headed the remonstrance from the kitchen regarding the deteriorated quality of the Fairoaks beer.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XVI, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 4293071:
      The preposterous altruism too! [] Resist not evil. It is an insane immolation of self—as bad intrinsically as fakirs stabbing themselves or anchorites warping their spines in caves scarcely large enough for a fair-sized dog.
    • 1950, Will Durant, The Age of Faith, Simon and Schuster, page 792.
      About 1150 some Palestinian anchorites adopted the eremitical rule of St. Basil, and spread throughout Palestine; when the Moslems captured the Holy Land these "Carmelites" migrated to Cyprus, Sicily, France, and England.
    Synonyms: (obsolete) anchor, eremite, hermit, recluse

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