enlightenment

[ en-lahyt-n-muh nt ]
/ ɛnˈlaɪt n mənt /

noun

the act of enlightening.
the state of being enlightened: to live in spiritual enlightenment.
(usually initial capital letter) Buddhism, Hinduism. prajna.
the Enlightenment, a philosophical movement of the 18th century, characterized by belief in the power of human reason and by innovations in political, religious, and educational doctrine.

Origin of enlightenment

First recorded in 1660–70; enlighten + -ment

Related forms

pre·en·light·en·ment, nounre·en·light·en·ment, noun

Definition for enlightenment (2 of 2)

prajna

[ pruhj-nyah, -nuh ]
/ ˈprʌdʒ nyɑ, -nə /

noun Buddhism, Hinduism.

pure and unqualified knowledge.

Origin of prajna

From the Sanskrit word prajñā
Also called Enlightenment.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for enlightenment

British Dictionary definitions for enlightenment (1 of 3)

enlightenment

/ (ɪnˈlaɪtənmənt) /

noun

the act or means of enlightening or the state of being enlightened
Buddhism the awakening to ultimate truth by which man is freed from the endless cycle of personal reincarnations to which all men are otherwise subject
Hinduism a state of transcendent divine experience represented by Vishnu: regarded as a goal of all religion

British Dictionary definitions for enlightenment (2 of 3)

Enlightenment

/ (ɪnˈlaɪtənmənt) /

noun

the Enlightenment an 18th-century philosophical movement stressing the importance of reason and the critical reappraisal of existing ideas and social institutions

British Dictionary definitions for enlightenment (3 of 3)

prajna

/ (ˈprʊdʒnə, -njɑː) /

noun

wisdom or understanding considered as the goal of Buddhist contemplation

Word Origin for prajna

from Sanskrit prajñā, from prajānāti he knows
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

Culture definitions for enlightenment

Enlightenment


An intellectual movement of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries marked by a celebration of the powers of human reason, a keen interest in science, the promotion of religious toleration, and a desire to construct governments free of tyranny. Some of the major figures of the Enlightenment were David Hume, Immanuel Kant, John Locke, the Baron de Montesquieu, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Voltaire.

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