—hermitic, hermitical, hermitish, adj. —hermitically, adv. —hermitlike, adj. —hermitry, hermitship, n./herr"mit/, n.1. a person who has withdrawn to a solitary place for a life of religious seclusion.2. any person living in seclusion; recluse.3. Zool. an animal of solitary habits.4. Ornith. any of numerous hummingbirds of the genera Glaucis and Phaethornis, having curved bills and dull-colored rather than iridescent plumage.5. a spiced molasses cookie often containing raisins or nuts.6. Obs. a beadsman.[1175-1225; ME ermite, hermite, heremite < OF < LL eremita < Gk eremités living in a desert, equiv. to erém(ia) desert (deriv. of erêmos desolate) + -ites -ITE1]Syn. 1. eremite, monastic, anchorite, cenobite.
* * *or eremiteIndividual who shuns society to live in solitude, often for religious reasons.The first Christian hermits appeared in Egypt in the 3rd century AD, escaping persecution by withdrawing to the desert and leading a life of prayer and penance. The first hermit was probably Paul of Thebes с AD 250. Other famous hermits included St. Anthony of Egypt, who established an early form of Christian monasticism in the 4th century, and the pillar hermit Simeon Stylites. The communal life of monasteries eventually tempered the austerities of the hermit's life. In Western Christianity the eremitic life died out, but it has persisted in Eastern Christianity.
* * *any of several hummingbird species of the genus Phaethornis. See hummingbird.▪ religionalso called Eremite,one who retires from society, primarily for religious reasons, and lives in solitude. In Christianity the word (from Greek erēmitēs, “living in the desert”) is used interchangeably with anchorite, although the two were originally distinguished on the basis of location: an anchorite selected a cell attached to a church or near a populous centre, while a hermit retired to the wilderness.The first Christian hermits appeared by the end of the 3rd century in Egypt, where one reaction to the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Decius was flight into the desert to preserve the faith and to lead a life of prayer and penance. Paul of Thebes, who fled to the desert about 250, has been considered the first hermit.The excessive austerity and other extremes of the early hermits' lives were tempered by the establishment of cenobite (common life) communities. The foundation was thus laid in the 4th century for the institution of monasticism (i.e., monks living a common life according to an established rule). The eremitic life eventually died out in Western Christianity, but it has continued in Eastern Christianity. See also monasticism (building construction).
* * *