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1. One who is being taught the principles of Christianity.
2. One who is being instructed in a subject at an elementary level.

[Middle English cathecumine, from Old French catechumene, from Latin catēchūmenus, from Greek katēkhoumenos, present passive participle of katēkhein, to instruct; see catechize.]


(Ecclesiastical Terms) Christianity a person, esp in the early Church, undergoing instruction prior to baptism
[C15: via Old French, from Late Latin, from Greek katēkhoumenos one being instructed verbally, from katēkhein; see catechize]
ˌcateˈchumenal, catechumenical adj
ˌcateˈchumenate n
ˌcateˈchumenism n


(ˌkæt ɪˈkyu mən)

1. a person under instruction in the rudiments of Christianity; neophyte.
2. a person being taught the rudiments of any subject.
[1325–75; Middle English cathecumyn < Middle French cathecumine < Late Latin catēchūmenus < Greek katēchoúmenos]
catechism, catechumen - Catechism comes from Latin catechismus, "instruction by word of mouth," and is literally a series of questions and answers; a catechumen is a young Christian preparing for confirmation.
See also related terms for instruction.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.catechumen - a new convert being taught the principles of Christianity by a catechist
educatee, pupil, student - a learner who is enrolled in an educational institution
References in periodicals archive ?
The priest invited the catechumens and their sponsors to step out into the aisle.
Chrism, along with the two oils used to bless catechumens and to anoint the sick, is blessed and distributed at Chrism Mass during Holy Week.
Primitivo, Patron of Heretics, Exhorts His Catechumens," he writes "Utility is holier than ritual.
People, evidently in increasing numbers, applied to become catechumens in preparation for baptism, and the churches adjusted to their growing numbers by shifting their main weekly meeting from meal-based services on Saturday evenings to Eucharistic services on Sunday mornings.
Baptism of blood was the one of persons who were martyred for committing themselves to Christ, even though they had not yet been baptized-such as the catechumens, who in the early Christian centuries had to go through a long instruction period before being baptized.
Pontius' prologue to his Vita Cypriani first reveals the subversive nature of the Passio Perpetuae, devoted to laypersons and catechumens who were martyred, instead of an authoritative figure such as the bishop and martyr Cyprian.
The first catechesis presented the main articles of faith to the catechumens, subsequently crystallized in the Nicene symbol, that is: the monotheism, the incarnation, the death, the resurrection and the ascension into heaven of Jesus Christ, Son of God, the Holy Spirit, the Church, the sacraments, the Resurrection, eternal life and the Second Coming of Christ".
8) However, those catechumens and the penitents who cannot take part in the liturgical offering of the gifts of bread and wine or in the partaking of the eucharist are accepted within the community and prayed for in the early part of the liturgy.
A great instructor of catechumens, his lasting legacy was the book "The Cathechizes," which contained the instructions he gave the catechumens in preparation for baptism.
After receiving testimony from their godparents, the bishop will invite the participants, known as catechumens, to confirm their desire to join the church by signing their names in the Book of Elect.
With oil of the catechumens, ashes are stirred into a paste.
There were 2,103,636 Catholics and 89,550 catechumens (the latter unheard of today).