• synonyms


[vohl-tair, vol-; French vawl-ter]
  1. François Marie Arouet, 1694–1778, French philosopher, historian, satirist, dramatist, and essayist.
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Related formsVol·tair·e·an, Vol·tair·i·an, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for voltairian

Historical Examples

  • He is not really an aesthete at all; he is too Voltairian for that.

    Suspended Judgments

    John Cowper Powys

  • In his youth he had been a good horseman, a Voltairian, and a Liberal.

  • Billet was a rabid Voltairian, while the doctor was a scientist.

    The Royal Life Guard

    Alexander Dumas (pere)

  • His father confided him to the care of a distant relative, a man no longer young, a bachelor and a frightful Voltairian.

  • "That reply really gave me a grievous moment," said the poet, with a shrewd, Voltairian smile.

    The Spirit of the Ghetto

    Hutchins Hapgood

British Dictionary definitions for voltairian


  1. pseudonym of François Marie Arouet. 1694–1778, French writer, whose outspoken belief in religious, political, and social liberty made him the embodiment of the 18th-century Enlightenment. His major works include Lettres philosophiques (1734) and the satire Candide (1759). He also wrote plays, such as Zaïre (1732), poems, and scientific studies. He suffered several periods of banishment for his radical views
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Derived FormsVoltairean or Voltairian, adjective, noun
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 voltairian


name taken from 1718 by French author François Marie Arouet (1694-1778) after his imprisonment in the Bastille on suspicion of having written some satirical verses; originally de Voltaire. The signification is uncertain.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

voltairian in Culture


[(vohl-tair, vol-tair)]

The nom de plume of François Arouet, an eighteenth-century French philosopher and author and a major figure of the Enlightenment. Voltaire was known as a wit and freethinker. The most famous of his works is Candide.

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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.