from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. educated or informed
  • adj. Made aware of something
  • adj. Freed from illusion
  • adj. Exceedingly wise
  • n. Someone who has been introduced to the mysteries of some activity, religion especially Buddhism
  • v. Simple past tense and past participle of enlighten.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Illuminated; supplied with light; light-giving.
  • Possessing or manifesting enlightenment; having or showing much knowledge or acquired wisdom; specifically, freed from blinding ignorance, prejudice, superstition, etc.: used to note the highest stage of general human advancement, as in the series savage, barbarous, half-civilized, civilized, and enlightened.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. having knowledge and spiritual insight
  • n. people who have been introduced to the mysteries of some field or activity
  • adj. characterized by full comprehension of the problem involved


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Murano used the term enlightened governance five times in the three-paragraph message but did not use the term that the students and faculty members voicing concern have been using -- shared governance.

    Local News | The Bryan College Station Eagle

  • The next level of action is usually taken under the auspices of what I call "enlightened risk management," where a company sees the inter-dependencies between their raw material supply or their market and the world it lives in and then takes action, often in collaboration with an NGO, to protect it.

    RP Siegel: Are Beverage Companies Doing As Much As They Can for the Planet?

  • And there even existed what we called enlightened despots.


  • The preacher may perhaps interest what he terms enlightened audiences, but when required to analyze truth and present it in a plain way to plain people he cannot do it.

    The religious instruction of the Negroes in the United States,

  • It's that approach to life which we call enlightened, scientific.

    The Guardian World News

  • The use of the term enlightened is telling, since the strongest argument for the acceptance of pornography — and the hard-core variety in particular — is precisely that it represents a form of sexual progress, a more civilized approach to the problem of the male libido than either the toleration of mass prostitution or the attempt, from the Victorian era onward, to simultaneously legislate prostitution away and hold married couples to an unreasonably high standard of fidelity.

    Is Pornography Adultery?

  • It is called enlightened self-interest, and it is the exact same business plan pursued by the original architects for America's best and most prosperous cities.

    John Hope Bryant: Silver Rights and Generation Entrepreneurship: What a President With Vision Can Do

  • I will give her credit for determining criteria for choosing the best, not an easy task, but I don't feel enlightened from the reading of the experience.

    Book Review: Fortune Cookie Chronicles

  • The best reason of all is what is sometimes called enlightened self-interest, a principle that may have been first identified by Alexis de Tocqueville, the French political thinker and historian who visited America in 1831.

    Manifesting Michelangelo

  • We were told they would never destroy themselves in the name of enlightened self interest, those banks.

    David Serchuk: Enough With the Teacher Bashing


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