- a member of a women's religious order, esp. of one living under a common rule and taking vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience
- any of various birds; esp., any of a domesticated breed of pigeon
Origin: ME nunne < OE < LL(Ec) nonna, nun, orig., child's nurse: like Gr nanna, aunt, Sans nanā, mother, ult. < baby talk
Origin: Heb nūn, lit., fish
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Origin: Middle English, from Old English nunne and from Old French nonne, both from Late Latin nonna, feminine of nonnus, tutor, monk.
Origin: Mishnaic Hebrew nûn, of Phoenician origin; see nwn in Semitic roots.
nun - Cultural Definition
A female member of a religious order, living in a convent, whose work is confined to the convent. The term is also applied broadly to other female members of religious orders (“sisters”) who often live outside their convents and work as teachers, nurses, social workers, or administrators.