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1. People claiming to be unusually enlightened with regard to a subject.
2. Illuminati Any of various groups claiming special religious or philosophical enlightenment.

[Latin illūminātī, from pl. of illūminātus, past participle of illūmināre, to light up; see illuminate.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


pl n, sing -to (-təʊ)
(Philosophy) a group of persons claiming exceptional enlightenment on some subject, esp religion
[C16: from Latin, literally: the enlightened ones, from illūmināre to illuminate]


pl n, sing -to (-təʊ)
1. (Philosophy) any of several groups of illuminati, esp in 18th-century France
2. (Roman Catholic Church) a group of religious enthusiasts of 16th-century Spain who were persecuted by the Inquisition
3. (Christian Churches, other) a masonic sect founded in Bavaria in 1778 claiming that the illuminating grace of Christ resided in it alone
4. (Christian Churches, other) a rare name for the Rosicrucians
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ɪˌlu məˈnɑ ti, -ˈneɪ taɪ), sing. -to (-toʊ)
1. persons claiming to possess superior enlightenment.
2. (cap.) any of various religious sects claiming special enlightenment.
[1590–1600; < Latin illūminātī, pl. of illūminātus enlightened; see illuminate]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
So, too, does the horrific ending of The Tim of Achamoth, in the vault of Marx's tomb, where Hollister uses a bow and arrow to destroy the monstrous embodiment of evil (descended from the Illuminists, a late Gnostic eighteenth-century sect, since with Joseph there is always metaphysical and moral significance within the physical action).
(25) This change of the mixed character of the procedure, a litigation in relation to the civil procedure and a voluntary procedure in relation to the criminal matter, only has been possible and occured because of a already told reason, because it is about the same substrate of, for example, his interpretation about torture - mistaken thought, identified in the greater thinkers, illuminists or liberals, from any time -, about the good nature of the penalty, because the thought of those who think different would be "influenced by the generalized mistake about the nature of the penalty, which is created as a harm, not as a good" (CARNELUTTI, 2004b, p.
Luchtanas (2002: 158) doubts this hypothesis leaving the ideas of nationality for the 18th century illuminists. He raises a question of why and how this context enabled the existence of these customs and what position was open for newly coming Christian ideologies in funeral practice.
Given that ever since the eighteenth century, religion has been castigated as an error of reasoning or as opium for the people, can we still accept a religious message, such as Castaneda's, without suspecting ourselves that we are or we have become "weak spirits" (in contrast with those esprits forts glorified by the illuminists) in search for phantasmatic surrogates for our own obsessions, phobias, impotence and failures?
Moore points out that in the midst of an agnostic Enlightenment, new spiritual sources for literature were alive and well creating a "reformation of the reformation." As the Enlightenment brought about reformed thinking, persons who felt rationalism had gone too far tended toward a spiritual path: the Quietists, Illuminists, and Eschatologists.
Spanish Erasmists, proto-Protestants, and illuminists all raised their own challenges to the need for the mystical path.