Manichean

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj Manichean of or relating to Manichaeism
    • n Manichean an adherent of Manichaeism
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Manichean A believer in the doctrines of Manes, a Persian of the third century A. D., who taught a dualism in which Light is regarded as the source of Good, and Darkness as the source of Evil. "The Manichæans stand as representatives of dualism pushed to its utmost development."
    • a Manichean Of or pertaining to the Manichæans.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • manichean Of or pertaining to the Manicheans.
    • n manichean One of a religious body, adherents of Mani, Manes, or Manichæus, a native of Persia or some neighboring country, in the third century. Its doctrines and features were derived from Gnostic, Buddhistic, Zoroastrian, and various other sources. These it attempted to combine with Christianity, and it is generally classed among Gnostic sects. Its theology was dualistic, representing the conflict between light and darkness, and including belief in the inherent evil of matter. Its morality was professedly ascetic, but profligacy of life and cruel or immoral ceremonial were generally attributed to it in both its earlier and its later forms. It had an organized priesthood, and recognized a distinction between its esoteric class (the “elect” or “perfect”) and the “hearers.” It originated in Persia, but soon extended into the Roman empire, and existed as late as the seventh century. The Paulicians, Albigenses. Catharists, etc., developed it into new forms, retaining many of its features, and hence were styled “New Manicheans.” The title Manichean, or New Manichean, was an epithet used opprobriously in the controversies of the middle ages.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Manichean pertaining to the Manichees or followers of Mani, a native of Ecbatana (215-276 A.D.), who taught that everything sprang from two chief principles, light and darkness, or good and evil
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
LL. Manichaeus,: cf. F. manichéen,

Usage

In literature:

Note: But these were Gnostic or Manichean opinions.
"The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume 1" by Edward Gibbon
South America would make him a sceptic, and Java a decided Manichean.
"The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 2 (of 4)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
I fell into Manichean ways of thinking from the teaching of my garden experiences.
"The Poet at the Breakfast Table" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Plotinus, the Manicheans, and Swendenborg are borrowed from without reserve.
"Balzac" by Frederick Lawton
The later adherents of the school appear to have moved towards a Manichean dualism.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3" by Various
You say I am a Manichean.
"The Formation of Christendom, Volume VI" by Thomas W. (Thomas William) Allies
His mythology, when he came to paint the world in myths, was Manichean.
"Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle" by H. N. Brailsford
The monophysites, without formally denying its real existence, nursed a Manichean suspicion of it.
"Monophysitism Past and Present" by A. A. Luce
The Italian Manicheans were generally called Paterini, the meaning of which word has never been explained.
"View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages, Vol. 3 (of 3)" by Henry Hallam
Milton, his "Paradise Lost" a Manichean composition, ii.
"History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume II (of 2)" by John William Draper
***

In poetry:

Sex was of course -- it always is --
The most enticing of mysteries,
But news-stands did not then supply
Manichean pornography.
"Doggerel" by W H Auden

In news:

And They Think Cheney Has A Manichean Worldview.
***