A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.
In medieval language a woman hermit. Also called ancress, it is commonly applied to women who have renounced the world to spend their lives in penance, prayer, and solitude. (Etym. Latin fem. of anchorita, variant of anchoreta; from Greek anakh_r_t_s, "one who withdraws [from the world]," from anakh_rein, to withdraw: ana-, back, + rh_rein, to make room.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.