1. A man who retires from the ordinary temporal concerns of the world, and devotes himself to religion; one of a religious community of men inhabiting a monastery, and bound by vows to a life of chastity, obedience, and poverty. "A monk out of his cloister." "Monks in some respects agree with regulars, as in the substantial vows of religion; but in other respects monks and regulars differ; for that regulars, vows excepted, are not tied up to so strict a rule of life as monks are." (Ayliffe)

2. A blotch or spot of ink on a printed page, caused by the ink not being properly distributed. It is distinguished from a friar, or white spot caused by a deficiency of ink.

3. A piece of tinder made of agaric, used in firing the powder hose or train of a mine.

4. <zoology> A South American monkey (Pithecia monachus); also applied to other species, as Cebus xanthocephalus. The European bullfinch.

<zoology> Monk bat, a species of seal (Monachus albiventer) inhabiting the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the adjacent parts of the Atlantic.

<botany> Monk's rhubarb, a kind of dock; also called patience (Rumex Patientia).

Origin: AS. Munuc, munec, munc, L. Monachus, Gr, fr. Alone. Cf. Monachism.

(01 Mar 1998)