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[men-uh-nahyt] /ˈmɛn əˌnaɪt/
a member of an evangelical Protestant sect, originating in Europe in the 16th century, that opposes infant baptism, practices baptism of believers only, restricts marriage to members of the denomination, opposes war and bearing arms, and is noted for simplicity of living and plain dress.
Origin of Mennonite
1555-65; < German Mennonit; named after Menno Simons (1492-1559), Frisian religious leader; see -ite1
Related forms
Mennonitism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for mennonites


a member of a Protestant sect that rejects infant baptism, Church organization, and the doctrine of transubstantiation and in most cases refuses military service, public office, and the taking of oaths
Derived Forms
Mennonitism, noun
Word Origin
C16: from German Mennonit, after Menno Simons (1496–1561), Frisian religious leader
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 mennonites



member of an Anabaptist sect, 1560s, from name of Menno Simons (1492-1559), founder of the sect in Friesland, + -ite (1). As an adjective by 1727. Alternative form Mennonist (n.) attested from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mennonites in Culture

Mennonites definition

A Protestant denomination, founded in the early days of the Reformation, whose members believe in living with great simplicity and who refuse to hold public office or to serve in the military. Some are as strict as the Amish in rejecting modern conveniences, such as automobiles and radios. There are numerous Mennonite communities in Pennsylvania and the Middle West.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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