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n. pl. mon·as·ter·ies
1. A community of persons, especially monks, bound by vows to a religious life and often living in partial or complete seclusion.
2. The dwelling place of such a community.
[Middle English monasterie, from Old French monastere, from Late Latin monastērium, from Late Greek monastērion, from Greek monazein, to live alone, from monos, alone; see men- in Indo-European roots.]
mon′as·te′ri·al (mŏn′ə-stîr′ē-əl, -stĕr′-) adj.