One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Church History. Chiefly with capital initial. A Docetist who held that Christ's body was only a phantasm, not a material substance.
2A person who deals in or has knowledge of fantasies. rare.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Richard Baxter (1615–1691), ejected minister and religious writer. From post-classical Latin phantasiasta a Docetist who held that Christ's body was only a phantasm, not a material substance, or its etymon Byzantine Greek ϕαντασιαστής (recorded in plural ϕαντασιασταί) from ancient Greek ϕαντασία + -αστής, suffix forming agent nouns; compare Hellenistic Greek ϕαντασιάζεσθαι to be presented to the mind.
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