One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1†(a) Philosophy. An advocate or adherent of an antimaterialistic theory of creation. Obsolete rare. (b) History of Science. An advocate or adherent of the pneumatic theory of physiology.
2An advocate or practitioner of pneumatic medicine or chemistry.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Thomas Tenison (1636–1715), archbishop of Canterbury. From ancient Greek πνευματ-, πνεῦμα + -ist. Compare Hellenistic Greek οἱ Πνευματικοί.
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