[ jezh-oo-it, jez-oo-, jez-yoo- ]
/ ˈdʒɛʒ u ɪt, ˈdʒɛz u-, ˈdʒɛz yu- /


a member of a Roman Catholic religious order (Society of Jesus) founded by Ignatius of Loyola in 1534.
(often lowercase) a crafty, intriguing, or equivocating person: so called in allusion to the methods ascribed to the order by its opponents.


of or relating to Jesuits or Jesuitism.

Origin of Jesuit

1550–60; < New Latin Jēsuita, equivalent to Latin Jēsu(s) + -ita -ite1

Related forms

an·ti-Jes·u·it, noun, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jesuit

British Dictionary definitions for jesuit


/ (ˈdʒɛzjʊɪt) /


a member of a Roman Catholic religious order (the Society of Jesus) founded by Saint Ignatius Loyola in 1534 with the aims of defending the papacy and Catholicism against the Reformation and to undertake missionary work among the heathen
(sometimes not capital) informal, offensive a person given to subtle and equivocating arguments; casuist

Derived Forms

Jesuitic or Jesuitical, adjectiveJesuitically, adverb

Word Origin for Jesuit

C16: from New Latin Jēsuita, from Late Latin Jēsus + -ita -ite 1
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