One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A member of a Roman Catholic order of hospitallers, now known as Alexians, dedicated to the care of the sick and the mentally infirm. Frequently attributive or as adjective Compare Alexian.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in John Bale (1495–1563), bishop of Ossory, evangelical polemicist, and historian. From post-classical Latin cellita monk who lives in a cell from classical Latin cella + -īta, so called either on account of the cells which they inhabited or on account of their practice of burying the dead.
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