noun, plural Cath·a·ri [kath-uh-rahy] /ˈkæθ əˌraɪ/, Cath·ars.

(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/.

Related formsCath·a·rism, nounCath·a·ris·tic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cathar

British Dictionary definitions for cathar


Catharist (ˈkæθərɪst)

noun plural -ars, -ari (-ərɪ) or -arists

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
Derived FormsCatharism, noun

Word Origin for Cathar

from Medieval Latin Cathari, from Greek katharoi the pure

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

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