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[ih-loo-muh-nah-tee, -ney-tahy] /ɪˌlu məˈnɑ ti, -ˈneɪ taɪ/
plural noun, singular illuminato
[ih-loo-muh-nah-toh, -ney-] /ɪˌlu məˈnɑ toʊ, -ˈneɪ-/ (Show IPA)
persons possessing, or claiming to possess, superior enlightenment.
(initial capital letter) a name given to different religious societies or sects because of their claim to superior enlightenment.
Origin of illuminati
1590-1600; < Latin illūminātī, plural of illūminātus enlightened; see illuminate Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for illuminati


plural noun (sing) -to (-təʊ)
a group of persons claiming exceptional enlightenment on some subject, esp religion
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, literally: the enlightened ones, from illūmināre to illuminate


plural noun (sing) -to (-təʊ)
any of several groups of illuminati, esp in 18th-century France
a group of religious enthusiasts of 16th-century Spain who were persecuted by the Inquisition
a masonic sect founded in Bavaria in 1778 claiming that the illuminating grace of Christ resided in it alone
a rare name for the Rosicrucians
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 illuminati

1590s, plural of Latin illuminatus "enlightened" (in figurative sense), past participle of illuminare (see illumination). Originally applied to a 16c. Spanish sect (the Alumbrados), then to other sects; since 1797 used as a translation of German Illuminaten, name of a secret society founded 1776 in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, and holding deistic and republican principles; hence used generally of free-thinkers and sarcastically of those professing intellectual enlightenment (1816). Related: Illuminatism; illuminatist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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