Etymology
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illuminati (n.)
1590s, plural of Latin illuminatus "enlightened" (in figurative sense), past participle of illuminare "light up, make light, illuminate" (see illumination). Originally a name applied to a 16c. Spanish sect (the Alumbrados), then to other sects on the continent; since 1797 used as a translation of German Illuminaten, name of a secret society founded 1776 in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, (repressed there 1785) and holding deistic and republican principles; hence used generally of free-thinkers and sarcastically of those professing intellectual enlightenment (1816). Related: Illuminatism; illuminatist.
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illumination (n.)
late 14c., "spiritual enlightenment," from Late Latin illuminationem (nominative illuminatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin illuminare "to throw into light, make bright, light up;" figuratively, in rhetoric, "to set off, illustrate," from assimilated form of in- "in, into" (from PIE root *en "in") + lumen (genitive luminis) "light," from suffixed form of PIE root *leuk- "light, brightness." Meaning "action of lighting" in English is from 1560s; sense of "intellectual enlightenment" is from 1630s.
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