Cath·​ar | \ ˈka-ˌthär How to pronounce Cathar (audio) \
plural Cathari\ ˈka-​thə-​ˌrī How to pronounce Cathari (audio) , -​ˌrē \ or Cathars

Definition of Cathar

: a member of one of various ascetic and dualistic Christian sects especially of the later Middle Ages teaching that matter is evil and professing faith in an angelic Christ who did not really undergo human birth or death

Other Words from Cathar

Catharism \ ˈka-​thə-​ˌri-​zəm How to pronounce Catharism (audio) \ noun
Catharist \ ˈka-​thə-​rist How to pronounce Catharist (audio) \ or Catharistic \ ˌka-​thə-​ˈri-​stik How to pronounce Catharistic (audio) \ adjective

First Known Use of Cathar

1634, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Cathar

Late Latin cathari (plural), from Late Greek katharoi, from Greek, plural of katharos pure

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Cathar

Time Traveler for Cathar

Time Traveler

The first known use of Cathar was in 1634

See more words from the same year

Statistics for Cathar

Cite this Entry

“Cathar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on Cathar

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with Cathar

Comments on Cathar

What made you want to look up Cathar? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!