the doctrines and teachings of John Calvin or his followers, emphasizing predestination, the sovereignty of God, the supreme authority of the Scriptures, and the irresistibility of grace.Compare Arminianism.
1560s, from John Calvin (1509-1564), Protestant reformer, + -ism. Alternative form Calvinian was in use in 1566. Generalized association with stern moral codes and predestination is attested since at least 1853. Related: Calvinist.
The religious doctrines of John Calvin. Calvin stressed that people are saved through God's grace, not through their own merits. The most famous of Calvin's ideas is his doctrine of predestination. In the United States, the Presbyterians make up the largest single group of Christians (see also Christian) in the Calvinist tradition.