enlightenment

noun
en·​light·​en·​ment | \ in-ˈlī-tᵊn-mənt, en-\

Definition of enlightenment 

1 : the act or means of enlightening : the state of being enlightened
2 capitalized : a philosophical movement of the 18th century marked by a rejection of traditional social, religious, and political ideas and an emphasis on rationalism used with the
3 Buddhism : a final blessed state marked by the absence of desire or suffering

Examples of enlightenment in a Sentence

the search for spiritual enlightenment His comments failed to provide enlightenment. the enlightenment of the public through education
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Recent Examples on the Web

Light axions looking for enlightenment The version of dark matter that is the focus of this work is a hypothetical subatomic particle known as the axion. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Pulsars could convert dark matter into something we could see," 20 Dec. 2018 For Dewey, everything reduced to a simple question: who is most in need of enlightenment, citizens or administrators? Sean Illing, Vox, "Intellectuals have said democracy is failing for a century. They were wrong.," 20 Dec. 2018 In fact, in ancient Japan, archers practiced the ritual of Kyudo, which infused the sport with Zen philosophies to achieve enlightenment. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "From Trampoline Classes to Jump Roping, 6 Throwback Workouts That Don’t Feel Like Exercise," 20 June 2018 Speaking at an investors conference in New York, the billionaire real estate magnate patted himself on the back for his enlightenment on gender issues. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Sam Zell promotes for merit, not because “we gotta get more pussy on the block.”," 6 June 2018 Buddha, for example, gave up the rich life of a prince for enlightenment. William Wan, The Seattle Times, "Are rich people more likely to lie, cheat, steal? Science explains the world of Manafort and Gates.," 13 Aug. 2018 Here in Sarnath, Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Antonia Neubauer, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Asia," 5 Oct. 2016 Unsurprisingly, my latest food tour in Paris was a delicious mix of culinary enlightenment and carbs. Rick Steves' Europe, The Seattle Times, "Specialized tours enrich travel," 14 Nov. 2018 In the long term, however, the notion that medieval ideas of blasphemy will prevail in post-enlightenment Western societies remains far-fetched. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "Pakistani Prior Restraint in Holland," 6 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enlightenment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of enlightenment

1621, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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2 Jan 2019

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The first known use of enlightenment was in 1621

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More Definitions for enlightenment

enlightenment

noun

English Language Learners Definition of enlightenment

: the state of having knowledge or understanding : the act of giving someone knowledge or understanding

the Enlightenment : a movement of the 18th century that stressed the belief that science and logic give people more knowledge and understanding than tradition and religion

Buddhism : a final spiritual state marked by the absence of desire or suffering

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