Definition of Cathar in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkaθɑː/


A member of a heretical medieval Christian sect which professed a form of Manichaean dualism and sought to achieve great spiritual purity.
Example sentences
  • Pope Innocent III declares a crusade against the Languedoc region of southern France, stronghold of the heretical Cathar Christian sect.
  • Heresy can only exist where there is an orthodoxy to define it: both medieval Catholics and medieval Cathars laid claim to being true Christians.
  • Simon is best known as the ruthless leader of the notorious Albigensian Crusade against the Cathar heretics of southern France.



Example sentences
  • Whether, as has been conjectured, an ancient stratum of peasant materialism or an underground current of Catharism provided the interpretive framework for his reading cannot be determined.
  • Scholastics' responses to Catharism in particular drew extensively on their concept of the natural law.
  • Incidentally, it has always seemed strange to me that modern New Agers and others are attracted to Catharism, with its uncompromising rejection of our world.


noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • In the Middle Ages, some groups, such as the Waldenses and Catharists, rejected infant baptism.
  • The Catharists considered themselves to hold the Christian faith in its most pristine form.
  • Between 1030-1040 an important Catharist community was discovered at the castle of Monteforte near Asti in Piedmont.


Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin Cathari (plural), from Greek katharoi 'the pure'.

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