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[kath-ahr] /ˈkæθ ɑr/
noun, plural Cathari
[kath-uh-rahy] /ˈkæθ əˌraɪ/ (Show IPA),
(in medieval Europe) a member of any of several rigorously ascetic Christian sects maintaining a dualistic theology.
Also called Catharist
[kath-er-ist] /ˈkæθ ər ɪst/ (Show IPA)
Origin of Cathar
1630-40; < Late Latin Catharī (plural) < Late Greek hoi Katharoí Novatians, literally, the pure; applied in ML to various sects
Related forms
Catharism, noun
Catharistic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for Cathar


noun (pl) -ars, -ari (-ərɪ), -arists
a member of a Christian sect in Provence in the 12th and 13th centuries who believed the material world was evil and only the spiritual was good
Derived Forms
Catharism, noun
Word Origin
from Medieval Latin Cathari, from Greek katharoi the pure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Cathar

1570s, "religious puritan" (implied in Catharism), from Medieval Latin Cathari "the Pure," name taken by Novatians and other Christian sects, from New Testament Greek katharezein "to make clean," from Greek katheros "pure." Related: Catharist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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