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.

Definitions of mendicant
  1. adjective
    practicing beggary
    mendicant friars”
    beseeching, imploring, pleading
  2. noun
    a pauper who lives by begging
    synonyms: beggar
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    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
    schnorrer, shnorrer
    (Yiddish) a scrounger who takes advantage of the generosity of others
    type of:
    a person who is very poor
  3. noun
    a male member of a religious order that originally relied solely on alms
    synonyms: friar
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    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
Word Family

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