A friar belongs to a religious order, a group within the Catholic church. A friar is similar to a monk.

Friars are like monks in that they are devoted to a religious life. The difference is that a friar lives and works among regular people in society, while a monk lives in a secluded, self-sufficient group of monks. The word friar developed in the thirteenth century from the Old French frere, "brother or friar." The Latin root is frater, or "brother."

Definitions of friar

n a male member of a religious order that originally relied solely on alms

Girolamo Savonarola
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
Austin Friar
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

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