a Christian in Egypt and Syria who accepted the definition of faith adopted by the Council of Chalcedon in a.d. 451.
of or pertaining to the Melchites.
Also, Melkite.

1610–20; < Medieval Latin Melchīta < Medieval Greek Melchī́tēs royalist, equivalent to melch- < Syriac malkā king (or < a derivative adj. of appurtenance) + -ītēs -ite1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To melchites
World English Dictionary
Melchite (ˈmɛlkaɪt)
1.  of or relating to the Uniat Greek Catholic Church in Syria, Egypt, and Israel
2.  a member of this Church
[C17: from Church Latin Melchīta, from Medieval Greek Melkhītēs, literally: royalist, from Syriac malkā king]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


any of the Christians of Syria and Egypt who accepted the ruling of the Council of Chalcedon (451) affirming the two natures-divine and human-of Christ. Because they shared the theological position of the Byzantine emperor, they were derisively termed Melchites-that is, Royalists or Emperor's Men (from Syriac malka: "king")-by those who rejected the Chalcedonian definition and believed in only one nature in Christ (the Monophysite heresy). While the term originally referred only to Egyptian Christians, it came to be used for all Chalcedonians in the Middle East and finally, losing its pejorative tone, came to designate the faithful of the patriarchates of Alexandria, Jerusalem, and especially Antioch

Learn more about Melchites with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature