Definition of Melkite in English:



  • 1An Orthodox or Uniate Christian belonging to the patriarchate of Antioch, Jerusalem, or Alexandria.

    • ‘Arab Christians are divided between Eastern rite churches and the Latin rite churches (Maronites, Melkite, and Chaldean).’
    • ‘The recent attempt at reunification between the Catholic Melkite and the Orthodox in the Antiochean church took their common heritage as the basis of a projected merger.’
    • ‘Christian denominations include various branches of Catholicism, mostly of the Eastern rite: Armenian Catholics, Syrian Catholics, Catholic Chaldeans, as well as Latin-rite Roman Catholics, Melkites, and Maronites.’
    • ‘Horowitz notes, allegedly in Weyrich's defense, that he made his statement in his ‘capacity as a Melkite Greek Catholic deacon.’’
    • ‘In some of those countries, particularly in the Middle East, he has encountered vibrant Catholic communities belonging to the eastern rites, including the Maronites, Copts, Melkites, Syriac, Armenians and Chaldean Catholics.’
    1. 1.1historical An Eastern Christian adhering to the Orthodox faith as defined by the councils of Ephesus (ad 431) and Chalcedon (ad 451) and as accepted by the Byzantine emperor.
      • ‘Michel Sayde, an Eastern Orthodox Melkite priest from Lebanon, also cautiously believes that the Marolly house is blessed.’


Early 17th century: via Church Latin from Byzantine Greek Melkhitai, plural representing Syriac malkāyā royalists (i.e. expressing agreement with the Byzantine emperor), from malkā king.