Word of the Day Archive
Thursday February 12, 2004
latitudinarian \lat-uh-too-din-AIR-ee-un; -tyoo-\ , adjective:
1. Having or expressing broad and tolerant views, especially in religious matters.
1. A person who is broad-minded and tolerant; one who displays freedom in thinking, especially in religious matters.
2. [Often capitalized] A member of the Church of England, in the time of Charles II, who adopted more liberal notions in respect to the authority, government, and doctrines of the church than generally prevailed.
More was nothing like his supposed example, the gently latitudinarian Cicero, for instance: Cicero's philosophical and religious dialogues (as opposed to his legal and political speeches, of course) often read as if he delighted in being contradicted, while More's are spittingly conclusive.
-- Caleb Crain, American Sympathy
. . .the optimism preached in England by latitudinarians trying to soften the Puritan concepts of an inscrutable, cruel God and an abject, fallen humanity.
-- James Wood, The Broken Estate
Latitudinarian comes from Latin latitudo, latitudin-, "latitude" (from latus, "broad, wide") + the suffix -arian.