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enlightenment (n.)

1660s, "action of enlightening," from enlighten + -ment. Used only in figurative sense, of spiritual enlightenment, etc. Attested from 1865 as a translation of German Aufklärung, a name for the spirit of independent thought and rationalistic system of 18c. Continental philosophers.

For the philosophes, man was not a sinner, at least not by nature; human nature — and this argument was subversive, in fact revolutionary, in their day — is by origin good, or at least neutral. Despite the undeniable power of man's antisocial passions, therefore, the individual may hope for improvement through his own efforts — through education, participation in politics, activity in behalf of reform, but not through prayer. [Peter Gay, "The Enlightenment"]

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Definitions of enlightenment
1
enlightenment (n.)
education that results in understanding and the spread of knowledge;
enlightenment (n.)
(Hinduism and Buddhism) the beatitude that transcends the cycle of reincarnation; characterized by the extinction of desire and suffering and individual consciousness;
Synonyms: nirvana
2
Enlightenment (n.)
a movement in Europe from about 1650 until 1800 that advocated the use of reason and individualism instead of tradition and established doctrine;
Synonyms: Age of Reason
From wordnet.princeton.edu