recluse, hermit, eremite, anchorite, cenobite all designate a person who lives apart from the world usually in order to devote himself to prayer, contemplation, and penance. Recluse and hermit are also applied to persons who avoid intercourse with men for other than religious motives, but even in such extended use they retain their original distinguishing implications, for recluse stresses retirement from the world and the life of the world into seclusion but not necessarily into physical isolation and hermit, a solitary life lived apart from men and usually in a place or under conditions where there is little likelihood of intrusion. Recluse is the broader term; it may be applied to a hermit or to a religious who lives in a cloistered community. Hermit is often applied to a member of one of the very few religious orders (as the Carthusians) whose members dwell alone and meet other members of the community only in church and in the refectory on Sundays.
Eremite, archaic as a variant of hermit, is sometimes chosen to unequivocally designate a solitary who is under a religious vow. Anchorite and cenobite are contrasted terms for the two leading types of recluses in the Eastern and in the Western Church.
Anchorite designates the type known as hermit or eremite;
cenobite, the type that dwells in a community, especially a strictly cloistered community of monks or nuns.

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Recluse — Re*cluse (r[ e]*kl[=u]s ), a. [F. reclus, L. reclusus, from recludere, reclusum, to unclose, open, in LL., to shut up. See {Close}.] Shut up, sequestered; retired from the world or from public notice; solitary; living apart; as, a recluse monk or …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Recluse — Re*cluse , n. [F. reclus, LL. reclusus. See {Recluse}, a.] 1. A person who lives in seclusion from intercourse with the world, as a hermit or monk; specifically, one of a class of secluded devotees who live in single cells, usually attached to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • recluse — (n.) early 13c., person shut up from the world for purposes of religious meditation, from O.Fr. reclus (fem. recluse), noun use of reclus (adj.) shut up, from L.L. reclusus, pp. of recludere to shut up, enclose (but in classical L. to throw open… …   Etymology dictionary

  • recluse — [n] person who does not want social contact anchorite, ascetic, cenobite, eremite, hermit, monk, nun, solitaire, solitary, troglodyte; concept 423 Ant. extrovert recluse / reclusive [adj] hermitlike, unsociable antisocial, ascetic, cloistered,… …   New thesaurus

  • Recluse — Re*cluse , v. t. To shut up; to seclude. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • recluse — ► NOUN ▪ a person who avoids others and lives a solitary life. DERIVATIVES reclusion noun reclusive adjective. ORIGIN from Old French reclus shut up , from Latin recludere enclose …   English terms dictionary

  • recluse — [rek′lo͞os, ri klo͞os′] adj. [ME < OFr reclus < LL(Ec) reclusus < L, pp. of recludere, to shut off < re , back + claudere: see CLOSE2] shut away from the world; secluded; solitary n. a person who lives a secluded, solitary life… …   English World dictionary

  • Recluse — A recluse is someone in isolation who hides away from the attention of the public, a person who lives in solitude, i.e. seclusion from intercourse with the world. The word is from the Latin recludere , which means shut up or sequester .A person… …   Wikipedia

  • Recluse — Reclus (moine) Un reclus (ou une recluse) est un moine (ou moniale) qui, adoptant une forme extrême de pénitence, s’enferme en solitaire dans un espace restreint (une ‘celle’ ou cellule), soit pour un temps, soit pour la vie. Sa cellule se trouve …   Wikipédia en Français

  • recluse — ● reclus, recluse adjectif et nom (de reclure) Littéraire. Qui vit retiré, isolé du monde, qui sort peu. Personne qui, par esprit de pénitence, s enfermait dans des cellules, parfois murées. ● reclus, recluse (difficultés) adjectif et nom (de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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