Definition of archimandrite in US English:



  • 1The head of a large monastery or group of monasteries in the Orthodox Church.

    • ‘Thus at the first Council of Constantinople, AD 448, 23 archimandrites or abbots sign, with 30 bishops.’
    • ‘‘Look at those clouds in the East,’ said the deputy archimandrite, deliberately changing the subject.’
    • ‘Greek Orthodox archimandrites, bishops (including married Arab priests) and their followers will elect three candidates from among the 15 in the first round.’
    • ‘A ukase in 1763 limited the composition of the Synod to three archbishops, two archimandrites, and one archpriest.’
    • ‘At the bottom of a letter sent by the archimandrites of Arabia to the ‘orthodox’ bishops about the middle of the 6th century, there is also the signature of David, abbot of the monastery of Bitylion; he signed in his own hand.’
    • ‘We also were accompanied by many bishops: Feodor of Rostov, Efrosin of Suzdal, Jeremiah the Greek, the Bishop of Zvenigorod, the archimandrites, the igumens, and monks.’
    • ‘The synod is composed of the patriarch, metropolitans, provincial bishops, as well as the titular bishops and archimandrites appointed by the patriarch.’
    • ‘A staff is also granted to archimandrites and abbots, as they are the heads of monasteries.’
    • ‘On Monday, the second day of Easter, the six Bulgarians attended a specially-organised Easter mass, led by the archimandrite of Tripoli, Makarios.’
    • ‘However, Theodore the bishop, and John, and Julian and John the presbyters, and Palladius and Serapion the deacons, and Andrew the Great, and Paul the Sophist, with about two hundred archimandrites, were selected as representatives; and they entered the great church to have an interview with Peter.’
    1. 1.1 An honorary title given to a monastic priest.
      • ‘Our lesson needs only an illustration, and what better than the life of Archimandrite Gerasim Schmaltz, who was for many years the solitary guardian of St. Herman's Spruce Island Hermitage.’
      • ‘Since leaving Mt. Athos, Archimandrite Dionysios has served at a number of different posts in Greece, Europe and America, eventually spending several years as Abbot of Holy Cross Monastery in Jerusalem.’


Mid 17th century: via ecclesiastical Latin, from ecclesiastical Greek arkhimandritēs, from arkhi- ‘chief’ + mandra ‘monastery’.