from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Depending on alms for a living; practicing begging.
- n. A beggar.
- n. A member of an order of friars forbidden to own property in common, who work or beg for their living.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Depending on alms for a living.
- adj. Of or pertaining to a beggar.
- adj. Of or pertaining to a member of a religious order forbidden to own property, and who must beg for a living.
- n. A pauper who lives by begging.
- n. A religious friar forbidden to own personal property who begs for a living.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Practicing beggary; begging; living on alms.
- n. A beggar; esp., one who makes a business of begging; specifically, a begging friar.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Begging; reduced to a condition of beggary
- Practising beggary; living by alms or doles: as, a mendicant friar. See friar.
- n. A beggar; one who lives by asking alms; especially, a member of a begging order or fraternity; a begging friar.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. practicing beggary
- n. a pauper who lives by begging
- n. a male member of a religious order that originally relied solely on alms
Historically, orders of friars could not own property, and individual friars were beggars hence the term mendicant, although this was changed insofar as the orders were concerned by the Council of Trent.
What I did not know until tonight, whilst reading Downloading Midnight by William Browning Spencer (a so-far excellent cyberpunk novelette) was that mendicant is a real word and not a made-up construct.
That person would merely be known as a mendicant monk or bhikshu.
One is not to be called a mendicant for his having only renounced his possessions, or for his having only adopted a life of dependence on eleemosynary charity.
This was a very serious calamity to the Dominicans, for as they, like the Franciscans, belonged to what were known as the mendicant orders, and depended for their daily bread upon what they could beg, they were reduced to extremity.
jesse smith - a mendicant is a beggar. the buddhist may be a special case in that he does it silently and has a spiffy name for goodwill, but he is doing the same thing.
Just to be clear, the link for the word "mendicant" seem to equate it with "begging".
Many shopkeepers seem to regard the customer as a kind of mendicant and to feel that they are conferring a favour on him by selling him anything.
This kind of mendicant is distinctly rural, and belongs to old times.
They saw him slouch for'ard after breakfast, and, like a mendicant, with outstretched palm, accost a sailor.