St. Jerome, who lived as a hermit near Bethlehem, depicted in his study being visited by two angels (Cavarozzi, early 17th century).

A hermit (adjectival form: eremitic or hermitic) is a person who lives in seclusion from society, usually for religious reasons.[1][2][3] Hermits are a part of several sects of Christianity, and the concept is found in other religions as well.


In Christianity, the term was originally applied to a Christian who lives the eremitic life out of a religious conviction, namely the Desert Theology of the Old Testament (i.e., the 40 years wandering in the desert that was meant to bring about a change of heart).[citation needed]

In the Christian tradition the eremitic life[4] is an early form of monastic living that preceded the monastic life in the cenobium. The Rule of St Benedict (ch. 1) lists hermits among four kinds of monks. In the Roman Catholic Church, in addition to hermits who are members of religious institutes, the Canon law (canon 603) recognizes also diocesan hermits under the direction of their bishop as members of the consecrated life. The same is true in many parts of the Anglican Communion, including the Episcopal Church in the US, although in the canon law of the Episcopal Church they are referred to as "solitaries" rather than "hermits".

Often, both in religious and secular literature, the term "hermit" is also used loosely for any Christian living a secluded prayer-focused life, and sometimes interchangeably with anchorite/anchoress, recluse and "solitary". Other religions, for example, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam (Sufism), and Taoism, also have hermits in the sense of individuals living an ascetic form of life.

In modern colloquial usage, "hermit" denotes anyone living apart from the rest of society, or simply participating in fewer social events, for any reason.

Other Languages
العربية: ناسك
asturianu: Freru
български: Отшелничество
brezhoneg: Penitiour
čeština: Poustevník
Cymraeg: Meudwy
dansk: Eneboer
Deutsch: Eremit
eesti: Eremiit
español: Ermitaño
Esperanto: Ermito
euskara: Eremutar
فارسی: زاهد
français: Ermite
furlan: Rimit
Gaeilge: Díthreabhach
Gàidhlig: Aonaran
한국어: 은자
hrvatski: Pustinjak
Ido: Ermito
Bahasa Indonesia: Eremit
íslenska: Einsetumaður
italiano: Eremita
Kiswahili: Mkaapweke
Latina: Eremita
lietuvių: Eremitas
Limburgs: Hièremiet
മലയാളം: ഹെർമിറ്റ്
Nederlands: Heremiet (monnik)
日本語: 隠者
norsk: Eremitt
norsk nynorsk: Eremitt
occitan: Ermita
پنجابی: جوگی
polski: Eremita
português: Eremita
română: Pustnic
Scots: Hermit
shqip: Eremiti
sicilianu: Rimita
slovenčina: Pustovník
slovenščina: Puščavnik
српски / srpski: Отшелник
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Pustinjak
suomi: Erakko
svenska: Eremit
Tagalog: Ermitanyo
українська: Пустельник
اردو: زاہد
Tiếng Việt: Ẩn sĩ
中文: 隱士