Definition of Mandaean in English:


Line breaks: Man|dae¦an
Pronunciation: /manˈdiːən
(also Mandean)


  • 1A member of a Gnostic sect of Iraq and SW Iran, who regard John the Baptist as the Messiah and stress salvation through knowledge of the divine origin of the soul.
    More example sentences
    • There is even a group of Mandaeans: theirs is a tiny Gnostic sect.
    • The Government has informed the tribunal that Mandaeans are discriminated against but not persecuted.
    • Not surprisingly, a number of Mandaeans have fled to Australia, where they're not finding life a lot easier.
  • 2 [mass noun] The language of the Mandaeans, a form of Aramaic.


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  • Relating to the Mandaeans or their language.
    More example sentences
    • At Yardenit in Israel, there is a major baptism site on the river which attracts Greek and Russian Orthodox Pilgrims and the Mandean people of the only surviving Gnostic religion.
    • Even in modern day Sydney, Aramaic dialects are used by the local Assyrian and Mandaean communities.
    • Jews, Christians, even the Mandaean gnostic sect of the Sabeans, are all granted freedom to practice and to live in peace.


late 19th century: from Mandaean Aramaic mandaia 'Gnostics, those who have knowledge' (from manda 'knowledge') + -an.

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