Share this entry

Essene Syllabification: Es·sene
Pronunciation: /əˈsēn/

Definition of Essene in English:


A member of an ancient Jewish ascetic sect of the 2nd century bc-2nd century ad in Palestine, who lived in highly organized groups and held property in common. The Essenes are widely regarded as the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Example sentences
  • In the first century BCE, the Jewish sect called the Essenes finally finished transforming Satan into the devil we're familiar with today.
  • After the dispersion of the Jews by the Romans following the failure of the Bar Kochba Revolt, the Jewish followers of Jesus disappeared along with the Essenes, the Sadducees and the Zealots.
  • He sees parallels between the Essenes, the Jewish splinter group most likely responsible for hiding the scrolls more than 2,200 years ago, and the 21st-century business community.


From Latin Esseni (plural), from Greek Essēnoi, perhaps from Aramaic.

Words that rhyme with Essene

glassine • Rexine • piscine

Definition of Essene 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 ads and access premium resources