Definition of cenobium in US English:


(also coenobium)


  • A monastery.

    ‘many pilgrims flocked to the cenobium in search of the monk’
    • ‘One year after the founding of the monastery of the Cave, Sabas established another cenobium, later named after its first abbot, John Scholarius.’
    • ‘Most monks will remain in the cenobium.’
    • ‘All the brothers begged pardon from him for their previous ignorance and they brought him back to his own cenobium.’
    • ‘Often individual anchorites were attached to a cenobium, where they might return for communal worship.’
    • ‘Yet communal life in the cenobium brought "the world" into the monastery, which became its microcosm.’
    religious house, religious community
    View synonyms


Early 19th century: ecclesiastical Latin coenobium, from Greek koinobion ‘community life, convent’, from koinos ‘common’ + bios ‘life’.