en·​light·​en·​ment | \ in-ˈlī-tᵊn-mənt How to pronounce enlightenment (audio) , 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
Recent Examples on the Web Aesop Aquarian’s own Age of Aquarius fulfilled its promise of long hair and free love, if not, necessarily, harmony or enlightenment. Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 July 2022 With all that enlightenment and spirituality comes a charming self-awareness, and plenty of bops. Jason Lamphier, EW.com, 17 June 2022 Quite frankly, that led into a personal enlightenment. David Marchese, New York Times, 10 June 2022 There is her job as a nanny, her search for a new roommate and her tech millionaire brother’s newfound Buddhist enlightenment. Becky Meloan, Washington Post, 31 May 2022 This enlightenment isn’t universal, but other governments seem to be paying a political price for tougher pandemic measures. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 2 Feb. 2022 But maybe dissecting what is guiding my inevitable next purchase is the first step toward some sort of shopping enlightenment. Elizabeth Djinis, Glamour, 4 Jan. 2022 The story sees a young man embark on a quest for Buddhist enlightenment that was the last wish of his dying father. Patrick Frater, Variety, 11 July 2022 The podcast’s second season covered the 2016 disappearance of Kristal Reisinger, who moved to Colorado on a quest for enlightenment. Brenna Ehrlich, Rolling Stone, 3 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of enlightenment

1621, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of enlightenment was in 1621

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Enlightenment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enlightenment. Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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