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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 ?
Cyril of Jerusalem took place within the Church and aimed to bind the catechumen to the Church "the real ship that leads to salvation of the soul.
A catechumen or faithful [person] if he wishes to become a soldier, let them [sic] be cast out because they despised God.
27) At the risk of being excessively repetitive--though, perhaps this is an issue that bears emphasis--the computus was the only instrument by which priests could calculate the date of the single most important holiday in the Christian calendar, the day on which most in the community would receive the Eucharist, and, for the catechumen, the day on which baptism was administered and of formal initiation into the church.
34) When he was ten, Martin went to the local church and became a catechumen.
The catechumen is to answer, "To glorify God and enjoy him forever.
His nearly cheerful treatment of the issue as indifferent, as adiaphora, sounds methodologically close to Erasmus in the early sixteenth century, who, while uncertain as to the apostolic validity of the doctrine, diplomatically accepted the literal descent, telling his catechumen to treat the notion as a matter of "pious human reflections" rather than an article of faith.
Quite interesting is Lance Gabriel Lazar's study of catechumen houses, which were established in many Italian cities to facilitate the conversions of Jews and Muslims to Christianity by providing religious instruction and financial support (apprenticeships for males and dowries for females) before attempting to integrate them fully into the Christian community.
Catechumen is a computer game in the "first-person shooter" genre of Quake and Halo, but with a Christian flavor.
Catechumen houses offered both a shelter and a form of religious conditioning for these outcast groups.
The Ordo Baptismi begins with two questions to the catechumen.
Also, at the time of Ambrose, Ambrose himself was appointed bishop when he was only a catechumen.
Sub-editing by the average ten-year-old catechumen could have saved Russell from the worst of his howlers.