- (in medieval Europe) a member of any of several rigorously ascetic Christian sects maintaining a dualistic theology.
Origin of Cathar
1630–40; < Late Latin Catharī (plural) < Late Greek hoi Katharoí Novatians, literally, the pure; applied in ML to various sects
Also called Cath·a·rist [kath-er-ist] /ˈkæθ ər ɪst/.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for cathar
Cathar′sis, evacuation of the bowels; Cathart′ic, a purgative medicine; Cathar′tin, the purgative principle of senna.
Here seems to belong in the order of development the Cathar Eucharist (see Cathars).
- a member of a Christian sect in Provence in the 12th and 13th centuries who believed the material world was evil and only the spiritual was good
from Medieval Latin Cathari, from Greek katharoi the pure
Word Origin and History for cathar
1570s, "religious puritan" (implied in Catharism), from Medieval Latin Cathari "the Pure," name taken by Novatians and other Christian sects, from New Testament Greek katharezein "to make clean," from Greek katheros "pure." Related: Catharist.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper