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[doh-see-tiz-uh m, doh-si-tiz-] /doʊˈsi tɪz əm, ˈdoʊ sɪˌtɪz-/
an early Christian doctrine that the sufferings of Christ were apparent and not real and that after the crucifixion he appeared in a spiritual body.
Roman Catholic Church. an ancient heresy asserting that Jesus lacked full humanity.
Origin of Docetism
First recorded in 1840-50; Docet(ae) + -ism
Related forms
Docetic, adjective
Docetist, noun, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for Docetism


(in the early Christian Church) a heresy that the humanity of Christ, his sufferings, and his death were apparent rather than real
Word Origin
C19: from Medieval Latin Docētae, from Greek Dokētai, from dokein to seem
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for Docetism

1846, heresy of the Docetae, who held that the body of Jesus was a phantom, from Greek Doketai, name of the sect, literally "believers," from dokein "to seem, have the appearance of, think," related to doxa (see decent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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