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n. pl. Cath·a·ri (-ə-rī′) or Cath·ars
A member of a Christian sect flourishing in western Europe in the 1100s and 1200s, whose dualistic belief, embracing asceticism and identifying the world as the creation of a satanic Demiurge, was condemned by the Church as heretical.

[French Cathare, from sing. of Medieval Latin Catharī, from Late Greek Katharoi, from pl. of Greek katharos, pure.]

Cath′ar adj.
Cath′a·rism n.
Cath′a·rist adj. & n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Cathari - a Christian religious sect in southern France in the 12th and 13th centuries; believers in Albigensianism
religious order, religious sect, sect - a subdivision of a larger religious group
References in periodicals archive ?
First, Cardinal Kasper refers to canon eight of the Council of Nicaea, which instructs that the rigorous cathari must not boycott communion when in second marriages (i.
Peter has in mind the Cathari, who became widely known in twelfth-century southern France (Languedoc) as Albigensians, appear in legislation of Lateran III (1179) and became the object of an abortive crusade in 1181; see Wakefield and Evans, Heresies of the High Middle Ages 29-50.
While Mozarab verse with non-Christian ideas about sex influenced some Provencal poets, few if any of these poets were Cathari heretics, and such Arabic influence as can be demonstrated was in any case more formal and metrical than topical.
pres-3 este=top linaje-sust ysquicxina ynchanoca* yxo zintzontzan *ma cathari ysqui=x =nah yncha-no-ca yxu Tzintzuntzan ma catari cuanto,como=3pl=vol entrar-llegando.
Among the opponents of the Resurrection we naturally find first those who denied the immortality of the soul; secondly, all those who, like Plato, regarded the body as the prison of the soul and death as an escape from the bondage of matter; thirdly the sects of the Gnostics and Manichaeans who looked upon all matter as evil; fourthly, the followers of these latter sects the Priscillianists, the Cathari, and the Albigenses; fifthly, the Rationalists, Materialists, and Pantheists of later times.