en·​light·​en·​ment in-ˈlī-tᵊn-mənt How to pronounce enlightenment (audio)
: the act or means of enlightening : the state of being enlightened
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
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
Recent Examples on the Web The show’s emphasis is on outstanding natural beauty, the slow dance of cross-cultural romance and gradual enlightenment. Patrick Frater, Variety, 8 Apr. 2024 Others see messianic potential in the new life-forms, assuming that their greater technological capabilities must be accompanied by greater enlightenment. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 18 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for enlightenment 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'enlightenment.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1621, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of enlightenment was in 1621

Dictionary Entries Near enlightenment

Cite this Entry

“Enlightenment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enlightenment. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

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