[ kat-i-kyoo-muh n ]
/ ˌkæt ɪˈkyu mən /


Ecclesiastical. a person under instruction in the rudiments of Christianity, as in the early church; a neophyte.
a person being taught the elementary facts, principles, etc., of any subject.

Origin of catechumen

1325–75; < Late Latin catēchūmenus < Greek katēchoúmenos (one who is) being taught orally, equivalent to katēche-, stem of katēcheîn to teach orally (see catechist) + -omenos middle present participle suffix; replacing Middle English cathecumyn < Middle French cathecumine < Late Latin, as above


cat·e·chu·me·nal, cat·e·chu·men·i·cal [kat-i-kyoo-men-i-kuh l] /ˌkæt ɪ kyuˈmɛn ɪ kəl/, adjectivecat·e·chu·men·i·cal·ly, adverbcat·e·chu·me·nate [kat-i-kyoo-muh-neyt, -nit] /ˌkæt ɪˈkyu məˌneɪt, -nɪt/, nouncat·e·chu·men·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for catechumen

/ (ˌkætɪˈkjuːmɛn) /


Christianity a person, esp in the early Church, undergoing instruction prior to baptism

Derived forms of catechumen

catechumenal or catechumenical (ˌkætəkjʊˈmɛnɪkəl), adjectivecatechumenate, nouncatechumenism, noun

Word Origin for catechumen

C15: via Old French, from Late Latin, from Greek katēkhoumenos one being instructed verbally, from katēkhein; see catechize
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