gymnosophist

gymnosophist

[jim-nos-uh-fist]
noun
one of a group of Jainist philosophers, existing from ancient times to c1000, characterized by refusal to wear clothes and the abandonment of caste marks; a member of the Digambara sect.

Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English < Latin gymnosophistae Indian ascetics < Greek gymnosophistaí naked philosophers. See gymno-, sophist

gymnosophy, noun
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World English Dictionary
gymnosophist (dʒɪmˈnɒsəfɪst)
 
n
one of a sect of naked Indian ascetics who regarded food or clothing as detrimental to purity of thought
 
[C16: from Latin gymnosophistae, from Greek gumnosophistai naked philosophers]
 
gym'nosophy
 
n

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Word Origin & History

gymnosophist
c.1400, from Gk. gymnosophistai, from gymnos "naked" + sophistes "sophist" (see sophist). Ancient Hindu holy men whose self-denial extended to clothes; they were known to the Greeks through the reports of Alexander the Great's soldiers.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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