/ ˈmænɪkiːˌɪzəm /


  1. the system of religious doctrines, including elements of Gnosticism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Buddhism, etc, taught by the Persian prophet Mani about the 3rd century ad . It was based on a supposed primordial conflict between light and darkness or goodness and evil
  2. RC Church any similar heretical philosophy involving a radical dualism

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Derived Forms

  • ˈManichee, noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of Manichaeism1

C14: from Late Latin Manichaeus, from Late Greek Manikhaios of Mani

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Example Sentences

From the beginning of the 4th century they began to die out in the West, or rather they fell a prey to Manichaeism.

Manichaeism in the West had also some experience of attempts at reformation from the ascetic side, but of these we know little.

There is not a single point in Manichaeism which demands for its explanation an appeal to Buddhism.

In this respect Manichaeism experienced the same kind of development as Neo-Platonism.

It was only subsequent to about 330 that Manichaeism spread rapidly in the Roman Empire.


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