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 (sĕn′ə-bīt′, sē′nə-)
Variant of cenobite.


(ˈsiːnəʊˌbaɪt) or


(Ecclesiastical Terms) a member of a religious order following a communal rule of life. Compare eremite
[C17: from Old French or ecclesiastical Latin, from Greek koinobion convent, from koinos common + bios life]
coenobitic, ˌcoenoˈbitical, ˌcenoˈbitic, ˌcenoˈbitical adj


or coe•no•bite

(ˈsi nəˌbaɪt, ˈsɛn ə-)

a member of a religious order living in a convent or community.
[1630–40; < Late Latin coenobīta=coenob- (< Greek koinóbios conventual, living together =koinó(s) common + -bios living, adj. derivative of bíos life) + -īta -ite1]
ce`no•bit′ic (-ˈbɪt ɪk) ce`no•bit′i•cal, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.coenobite - a member of a religious order living in commoncoenobite - a member of a religious order living in common
religious - a member of a religious order who is bound by vows of poverty and chastity and obedience
References in classic literature ?
Occasionally, after my hoeing was done for the day, I joined some impatient companion who had been fishing on the pond since morning, as silent and motionless as a duck or a floating leaf, and, after practising various kinds of philosophy, had concluded commonly, by the time I arrived, that he belonged to the ancient sect of Coenobites. There was one older man, an excellent fisher and skilled in all kinds of woodcraft, who was pleased to look upon my house as a building erected for the convenience of fishermen; and I was equally pleased when he sat in my doorway to arrange his lines.
One of the more famous examples of Thoreau's punning occurs in "The Ponds, " where Thoreau refers to the unsuccessful fishermen he encounters as being members of the religious group the "Coenobites," or, translated for effect, the "see no bites." Humor also lies in the heart of the instructional story of the traveler who asks the boy if the swamp has a hard bottom before entering with his horse; when the horse sinks to its girth, the traveler asks the boy if he didn't just tell him that the swamp had a hard bottom, and the boy replies that it does, but the traveler hasn't gotten halfway to it yet.
When reader's of Thoreau's Walden, for instance, read the passage at the beginning of "The Ponds" describing a luckless fisherman as someone who "had concluded commonly, by the time I arrived, that he belonged to the ancient sect of Coenobites," they will almost certainly miss the pun contained in the last word.