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The west facade of Westminster Abbey in London, England, United Kingdom. The abbey originates from a community of Benedictine monks established by Saint Dunstan with the assistance of King Edgar of England.


From Old English mynster, from Latin monastērium ‎(monastery), from Ancient Greek μοναστήριον ‎(monastḗrion, monastery; solitary dwelling).



minster ‎(plural minsters)

  1. A monastic church.
    • 2014 July 20, Jane Gardam, “Give us a bishop in high heels [print version: “Give us a high-heeled bishop”, International New York Times, 22 July 2014, page 11]”, in The New York Times[1], archived from the original on 21 July 2014:
      [F]urther south in Kent, there was St. Mildred, whose mother, in 670, founded the minster that still stands there in good nick, with nine nuns who are an ever-present help in trouble to all religions and none.
  2. (by extension) (Can we verify(+) this sense?) A title adopted by some large and important churches that have no monastic history, especially collegiate or cathedral churches.

Usage notes[edit]

Not to be confused with minister.