member of a religious community of women

Nun is a woman who made a special vow (or promise) dedicating herself to a religious life. Catholic nuns are said to "take the veil" as a symbol of their new life.[1] Roman Catholic nuns are the most commonly thought of nuns in the West, but nuns are found in different forms of Christianity as well as non-Christian religions such as Buddhism. A fully ordained Buddhist nun is called a bhikkhuni or bhiksuni; ordained novices are sāmaṇerī.[2] A nun is the female version of a monk.[3]

A nun


  1. Crown and Veil: Female Monasticism from the Fifth to the Fifteenth Centuries, eds. Jeffrey F Hamburger; Susan Marti; et al. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), p. 13
  2. Bhikkhunī Ordination From Ancient India to Contemporary Sri Lanka by Bhikkhu Anālayo භි ක ් ෂ ුණ ී පැව ි ද ් ද පු රාණ ඉන ් ද ියාවේ පටන ් ද වර ් තමාන ශ්‍රී ලංකාව දක ් ෂ වා භි ක ් ඛ ු අනාලය ෝ Translated by Bhikkhu Derangala Kusalañāṇa පර ි වර ් තනය: භි ක ් ඛ ු දෑරංගල කු සලඤාණ Forewords by Bhante Guṇaratana, Bhikkhu Bodhi, and Ajahn Brahmavaṃso
  3. Association of the Monasteries of Nuns of the Order of Preachers of the United States of America, Vocation in Black and White: Dominican Contemplative Nuns Tell How God Called Them (New York: iUniverse, 2008), p. 106

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