a member of an evangelical Protestant sect, originating in Europe in the 16th century, that opposes infant baptism, practices baptism of believers only, restricts marriage to members of the denomination, opposes war and bearing arms, and is noted for simplicity of living and plain dress.

1555–65; < German Mennonit; named after Menno Simons (1492–1559), Frisian religious leader; see -ite1

Mennonitism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Mennonite (ˈmɛnəˌnaɪt)
a member of a Protestant sect that rejects infant baptism, Church organization, and the doctrine of transubstantiation and in most cases refuses military service, public office, and the taking of oaths
[C16: from German Mennonit, after Menno Simons (1496--1561), Frisian religious leader]

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

member of an Anabaptist sect, 1565, from name of Menno Simons (1492-1559), founder of the sect in Friesland.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Mennonites definition

A Protestant denomination, founded in the early days of the Reformation, whose members believe in living with great simplicity and who refuse to hold public office or to serve in the military. Some are as strict as the Amish in rejecting modern conveniences, such as automobiles and radios. There are numerous Mennonite communities in Pennsylvania and the Middle West.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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