- 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
- pure and unqualified knowledge.
Origin of prajna
Related Wordsinsight, literacy, civilization, sophistication, wisdom, information, knowledge, refinement, instruction, culture, cultivation, comprehension, learning, teaching, education, edification, bodhi
Examples from the Web for enlightenment
In my search for answers about who I was, I pored over religious texts in search of enlightenment.Dear Leelah, We Will Fight On For You: A Letter to a Dead Trans Teen
January 1, 2015
Everything in life, from governance to harvest to warfare, was suffused with sacred meaning until the advent of the Enlightenment.Karen Armstrong’s New Rule: Religion Isn’t Responsible for Violence
October 29, 2014
I later read that to be fit for enlightenment, man must be fearless.When Gary Wright Met George Harrison: Dream Weaver, John and Yoko, and More
September 29, 2014
When he emerged from the Zen monastery on Mount Baldy, his enlightenment was followed with an all too worldly disaster.Excuse Me For Not Dying: Leonard Cohen at 80
September 24, 2014
They also watch films for insight, enlightenment, and meaningfulness.The Science of Weepies: Why We Love Crying at the Movies
June 4, 2014
Mary reviewed the case succinctly for the other's enlightenment.Within the Law
The Cherub pursed his fat round lips in a soft whistle of enlightenment.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
The distinguishing device of civilization and enlightenment.The Devil's Dictionary
Civilization, enlightenment,—they are vague terms, hollow sounds.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
And as you can see, we surround ourselves with all means of enlightenment.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
- 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
- the Enlightenment an 18th-century philosophical movement stressing the importance of reason and the critical reappraisal of existing ideas and social institutions
- wisdom or understanding considered as the goal of Buddhist contemplation
Word Origin and History for enlightenment
1660s, "action of enlightening," from enlighten + -ment. Used only in figurative sense, of spiritual enlightenment, etc. Attested from 1865 as a translation of German Aufklärung, a name for the spirit and system of Continental philosophers in the 18c.
The philosophy of the Enlightenment insisted on man's essential autonomy: man is responsible to himself, to his own rational interests, to his self-development, and, by an inescapable extension, to the welfare of his fellow man. For the philosophes, man was not a sinner, at least not by nature; human nature -- and this argument was subversive, in fact revolutionary, in their day -- is by origin good, or at least neutral. Despite the undeniable power of man's antisocial passions, therefore, the individual may hope for improvement through his own efforts -- through education, participation in politics, activity in behalf of reform, but not through prayer. [Peter Gay, "The 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.