Share this entry

Jesuit Line breaks: Jes¦uit
Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɛz(j)ʊɪt/

Definition of Jesuit in English:


A member of the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic order of priests founded by St Ignatius Loyola, St Francis Xavier, and others in 1534, to do missionary work. The order was zealous in opposing the Reformation. Despite periodic persecution it has retained an important influence in Catholic thought and education.
Example sentences
  • In some ways they were only doing what the Jesuits and other Catholics had done for 150 years.
  • History tells us that in the sixteenth century Ignatius Loyola decreed that henceforth all priests of the Jesuit order must wear a collar.
  • This book is an anthology of personal prayers by Jesuits from the Society's beginning down to the present day.


From French jésuite or modern Latin Jesuita, from Christian Latin Iesus (see Jesus).

Words that rhyme with Jesuit

Inuit • floruit

Definition of Jesuit in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day fortissimo
Pronunciation: fɔːˈtɪsɪməʊ
(especially as a direction) very loud or loudly