Jesuits

Jesuit

[jezh-oo-it, jez-oo-, jez-yoo-]
noun
1.
a member of a Roman Catholic religious order (Society of Jesus) founded by Ignatius of Loyola in 1534.
2.
(often lowercase) a crafty, intriguing, or equivocating person: so called in allusion to the methods ascribed to the order by its opponents.
adjective
3.
of or pertaining to Jesuits or Jesuitism.

Origin:
1550–60; < Neo-Latin Jēsuita, equivalent to Latin Jēsu(s) + -ita -ite1

anti-Jesuit, noun, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Jesuit (ˈdʒɛzjʊɪt)
 
n
1.  a member of a Roman Catholic religious order (the Society of Jesus) founded by Saint Ignatius Loyola in 1534 with the aims of defending the papacy and Catholicism against the Reformation and to undertake missionary work among the heathen
2.  informal, offensive (sometimes not capital) a person given to subtle and equivocating arguments; casuist
 
[C16: from New Latin Jēsuita, from Late Latin Jēsus + -ita-ite1]
 
Jesu'itic
 
adj
 
Jesu'itical
 
adj
 
Jesu'itically
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Jesuit
1550, from Mod.L. Jesuita, member of the Society of Jesus, founded 1533 by Ignatius Loyola to combat Protestantism. Their enemies (in both Catholic and Protestant lands) accused them of belief that ends justify means, hence the sense "a dissembling person" (1640), and jesuitical "deceitful" (1613).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Jesuits definition


A religious order of men in the Roman Catholic Church; its official name is the Society of Jesus. Founded by Ignatius of Loyola in the sixteenth century, the society became the spearhead of the Counter Reformation.

Note: The Jesuit order has a long tradition of vigorous missionary work and of intellectual and scholarly achievement. The Jesuits have also been known historically for their influence, often behind the scenes, in European politics and for their skill and resourcefulness in debate — characteristics that have sometimes led people to mistrust them. In recent years, they have become better known as free-ranging thinkers on religious and political questions.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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