Definition of Cathar in English:


nounplural noun Cathars, plural noun Cathari/ˈkaTHəˌrī/ /-ˌrē/

  • A member of a heretical medieval Christian sect which professed a form of Manichaean dualism and sought to achieve great spiritual purity.

    ‘Pope Innocent III declares a crusade against the Languedoc region of southern France, stronghold of the heretical Cathar Christian sect.’
    • ‘Heresy can only exist where there is an orthodoxy to define it: both medieval Catholics and medieval Cathars laid claim to being true Christians.’
    • ‘Simon is best known as the ruthless leader of the notorious Albigensian Crusade against the Cathar heretics of southern France.’
    • ‘She lumps Manichean Cathars together with Franciscans and Waldensians.’
    • ‘The crusade was aimed at the Cathars, members of a heretical Christian sect that believed that the world was created by the devil and was inherently evil.’
    • ‘It also relied on ruthless suppression or marginalization of those whom it deemed deviants, such as Jews, Cathars, and Hussites.’
    • ‘In truth, the Cathars were the medieval good guys, struggling for purer Christianity amid Roman church decadence.’
    • ‘According to legend, a dark secret has been guarded in the mountains of the Languedoc by the Cathars, the Knights Templar and, most recently, by a society known as the Priory of Sion.’
    • ‘The Cathars refused to accept Christianity and were massacred by the Church near Toulouse in France.’
    • ‘The Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars was the most vicious example of this.’
    • ‘Innocent, more than a little peeved, began the Albigensian Crusade and for 20 years scoured the land for Cathars.’
    • ‘To choose to convert might involve the ‘choice’ of being thrown to the lions for an early Christian, or being burned at the stake for a medieval Cathar.’
    • ‘He once enchanted a coterie of his admirers, myself among them, by replying to a question about his beloved Cathars with a vivid impromptu on Light Religion and Dark Religion.’
    • ‘The appellation takes its name from the village of Minerve, scene of one of the bloodiest sieges of the Cathar sect in the 13th century.’
    • ‘Beyond Carcassone is Pays Cathar, or Cathar country, a place where a sect of Christianity flourished for some time before being stamped out around 1233.’
    • ‘They demanded that the townspeople - ordinary Roman Catholics - either hand over the Cathars or leave the city so that the remaining Cathars could be more easily dealt with.’
    • ‘This was one of the reasons, too, why for a long time he was interested in that rather narrow version of Christianity, the religion of the Cathars.’
    • ‘Other pilgrims, including not a few former Cathars, came as penitents.’
    • ‘The city was built by Cathars to withstand the belligerence of Catholic armies, but its gates now stand open.’
    • ‘It is difficult now to reconstruct the Cathars ' views exactly, but it seems fairly clear that they were dualists who held that the visible world is more or less corrupt, imperfect, or downright evil.’



/ˈkaTHär/ /ˈkæθɑr/


Mid 17th century from medieval Latin Cathari (plural), from Greek katharoi ‘the pure’.