• synonyms


[puh-ley-jee-uh n, -juh n]
  1. a follower of Pelagius, who denied original sin and believed in freedom of the will.
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  1. of or relating to Pelagius or Pelagianism.
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Origin of Pelagian

1525–35; < Late Latin Pelagiānus; see -an
Related formsPe·la·gi·an·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pelagian

Historical Examples of pelagian

  • At the start a mixture of Cleopatra and Aspasia; and at the finish a feminine Pelagian.

    The Magnificent Montez

    Horace Wyndham

  • To deny that is the root of what is called the Pelagian heresy.

    The Good News of God

    Charles Kingsley

  • Augustine directed his attention more particularly to the refutation of Pelagian heresies and human Depravity.

  • The Pelagian controversy divided and distracted the churches, and destroyed the spirit of Christian meekness and love.

  • A clear light is thrown upon the matter by the history of the Pelagian, Nestorian, and Eutychian heresies.

British Dictionary definitions for pelagian


  1. of or inhabiting the open sea
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Word Origin for pelagian

C18: from Latin pelagius, from Greek pelagios of the sea, from pelagos sea


  1. of or relating to Pelagius or his doctrines
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  1. an adherent of the doctrines of Pelagius
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See also Pelagianism
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 pelagian


1530s (n.); 1570s (adj.), from Medieval Latin Pelagianus, from Pelagius, Latinized form of the name of 4c. British monk who denied the doctrine of original sin. Combated by Augustine, condemned by Pope Zosimus in 418 C.E. His name in Welsh was said to have been Morgan, literally "sea-dweller" (cf. Greek pelagos "sea;" see pelagic). Related: Pelagianism.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper