melchites

Melchite

[mel-kahyt]
noun
1.
a Christian in Egypt and Syria who accepted the definition of faith adopted by the Council of Chalcedon in a.d. 451.
adjective
2.
of or pertaining to the Melchites.
Also, Melkite.


Origin:
1610–20; < Medieval Latin Melchīta < Medieval Greek Melchī́tēs royalist, equivalent to melch- < Syriac malkā king (or < a derivative adj. of appurtenance) + -ītēs -ite1

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World English Dictionary
Melchite (ˈmɛlkaɪt)
 
adj
1.  of or relating to the Uniat Greek Catholic Church in Syria, Egypt, and Israel
 
n
2.  a member of this Church
 
[C17: from Church Latin Melchīta, from Medieval Greek Melkhītēs, literally: royalist, from Syriac malkā king]

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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

melchites

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

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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