Definition of aulicism in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɔːlɪsɪz(ə)m/


  • 1 rare A courtly expression or turn of phrase. Also (as a mass noun): the use of such courtly language.

  • 2 rare, historical A tendency or attitude amongst clergymen to become attached to the secular ways and values of court, or to seek political influence and power, at the expense of devotion to religious and spiritual matters.

    Used especially with reference to Jesuit confessors attached to courts in Europe in the 17th century.


Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Thomas Adams (1583–1652), Church of England clergyman. From post-classical Latin aulicismus courtly expression or turn of phrase, tendency of clerics and other members of religious orders to curry favour with temporal rulers from classical Latin aulicus + post-classical Latin -ismus.