A hermit (adjectival form: eremitic or hermitic) is a person who lives, to some degree, in seclusion from society. In [[Wikipedia:Christianity|Christianity]], the term was originally applied to a Christian who lives the eremitic life out of a religious conviction.
Eremitic life is an early form of monastic living that preceded the monastic life in the cenobium.
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, the term "hermit" denotes anyone living a life apart from the rest of society, or who simply does not participate in social events as much as is common, regardless of their motivation in doing so, including the misanthrope.