One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A member of a schismatic Church founded in Egypt in the early 4th cent. by Melitius, bishop of Lycopolis, who objected to the return to the church of Christians who had temporarily renounced their faith under persecution.
Of or relating to this sect.
A member of a party in the Church of Antioch comprising those Orthodox Christians who continued to accept the authority of St Meletius (consecrated bishop in a.d. 360), despite the deposition and exile which he suffered early in his episcopate.
Of or relating to this party.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Meredith Hanmer (1543–1604), Church of England and Church of Ireland clergyman and historian. From Byzantine Greek Μελητιανός, Μελιτιανός from Μελήτιος, the name of Melitius, bishop of Lycopolis in the Thebaid (d. 326?) + -ανος<br>early 17th century. From the name of St Meletius (Greek Μελήτιος), Bishop of Antioch (d. 381) + -an, perhaps after a formation in Byzantine Greek or post-classical Latin.
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