Cath·​ar ˈka-ˌthär How to pronounce Cathar (audio)
plural Cathari ˈka-thə-ˌrī How to pronounce Cathar (audio)
or Cathars
: 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
Catharism noun
Catharist adjective
or Catharistic

Word History


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

First Known Use

1634, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Cathar was in 1634

Dictionary Entries Near Cathar

Cite this Entry

“Cathar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

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