1520s, adjective and noun, "of or pertaining to Martin Luther or to the sect he founded, which has his name, or its doctrines," from name of German religious reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546). Luther called it the Evangelical Church. Used by Catholics 16c. in reference to all Protestants, regardless of sect. In 16c. Lutherian also was used. Related: Lutheranism (1560s).