philosophe

philosophe

[fil-uh-sof, fil-uh-zof; French fee-law-zawf]
noun, plural philosophes [fil-uh-sofs, fil-uh-zofs; French fee-law-zawf] .
1.
any of the popular French intellectuals or social philosophers of the 18th century, as Diderot, Rousseau, or Voltaire.
2.
a philosophaster.

Origin:
1770–80; < French

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

philosophe
"Enlightenment rationalist and skeptic," esp. in ref. to any of the Fr. Encyclopædists, often disparaging (when used by believers), 1774, from Fr. philosophe, lit. "philosopher" (see philosopher). Usually italicized in Eng., but nativized by Peter Gay ("The Enlightenment,"
1966) and others. Also philosophist (1798).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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