poustevník - feminine


Senior Member

Poustevník – Is there a feminine form of this noun, or is it always masculine, even if the subject is feminine?
For example: Nechtěla bych žit jako poustevník? – I would not want to live like a hermit.

Thank you
  • Mori.cze

    Senior Member

    there is a feminine form, poustevnice.
    The masculine can, however, be used as a generic term, so your sentence Nechtěla bych žít jako poustevník.:tick: is fine.
    I strongly advise to avoid using this generic when closely connected to clearly female grammar forms, as in V lese žila stará poustevník, která léčila zvířata.:cross:, that sounds wrong.



    I agree with Mori. I would just add that even a woman could compare herself to a poustevník (i.e. male hermit). On the other hand, poustevnice is the obvious female form, even though I can't recall hearing it (I have never heard of female hermits but may have missed some history lessons :). And because the female form is so obvious, it sounds fine to me even if a little unusual.


    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    For example: Nechtěla bych žít jako poustevník? – I would not want to live like a hermit.
    The example is not suitable. Instead of poustevník we could use any noun of any gender.

    Nechtěl bych žít jako tento herec. = ... like this actor.
    Nechtěla bych žít jako tento herec. = ... like this actor.
    Nechtěl bych žít jako tato herečka. = ... like this actress.
    Nechtěla bych žít jako tato herečka. = ... like this actress.
    Nechtěl (nechtěla) bych žít jako zvíře. = ... like an animal.

    In principle there is no agreement in gender.

    On the other side:

    She refused several suitors' offers of marriage and became a hermitess on the banks of the Severn River in Somersetshire.

    Odmítla několik nabídek k sňatku a stala se poustevnicí ....

    poustevnice = hermitess;
    Last edited:


    New Member
    Czech - North Moravia
    Maybe just one thought - the expression "poustevnice" sounds very unusual to me and it is kind a weird a bit :D - but grammaticaly it is definitely right... in the context above (posted by bibax - "Odmítla několik sňatků a stala se poustevníci"...) I would rather use a synonym... for example "sammotářka" ("samotářkou" in the proper case according to the context) ("samotář" = masculine)

    Both words are different but in some cases they could be substitued (in my opinion) - especially if you want to avoid using unusual, less-frequent words like "poustevnice"

    However, "samotář" is more common word and sounds less, let´s say, "educated" :D

    Maybe I am wrong but this is how I understand it...


    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    Poustevnice is something else than samotářka.

    The cited sentence "She refused ..." is about a real poustevnice (hermitess). St. Keyna founded numerous churches in South Wales, Cornwall, ... Her feast day is October 8.


    There is at least one context where only masculine form poustevník is used

    rak poustevníček (or poustevník unofficialy) - hermit crab
    Rak poustevníček

    female of this crustacean is not referred as poustevnička or poustevnice, it's possible only jokingly with tongue-in-cheek
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >