People who live off begging can be called mendicants. However, you probably wouldn't call your kids mendicants, even though they beg you for stuff, because the word mendicant also implies extreme poverty.
The noun mendicant can also refer to a man belonging to a religious order, such as the Franciscan Friars — who do not own personal property but live together in a monastery and survive off alms donated by others. As an adjective, mendicant describes someone who lives such an existence.
n a pauper who lives by begging
the diseased beggar in Jesus' parable of the rich man and the beggar
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a man who is a beggar
a woman who is a beggar
cadger, mooch, moocher, scrounger
someone who mooches or cadges (tries to get something free)
a beggar who approaches strangers asking for money
sannyasi, sannyasin, sanyasi
a Hindu religious mendicant
(Yiddish) a scrounger who takes advantage of the generosity of others
- Type of:
a person who is very poor
n a male member of a religious order that originally relied solely on alms
Italian religious and political reformer; a Dominican friar in Florence who preached against sin and corruption and gained a large following; he expelled the Medici from Florence but was later excommunicated and executed for criticizing the Pope (1452-1498)
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Carmelite, White Friar
a Roman Catholic friar wearing the white cloak of the Carmelite order; mendicant preachers
Black Friar, Blackfriar, Dominican, friar preacher
a Roman Catholic friar wearing the black mantle of the Dominican order
Franciscan, Grey Friar
a Roman Catholic friar wearing the grey habit of the Franciscan order
a Roman Catholic friar or monk belonging to one of the Augustinian monastic orders
one of the Roman Catholic hermits of Saint Augustine
- Type of:
a member of a religious order who is bound by vows of poverty and chastity and obedience