Definition of enlightenment in US English:

enlightenment

noun

  • 1The action of enlightening or the state of being enlightened.

    ‘Robbie looked to me for enlightenment’
    • ‘I'll ramble on and on until I find some enlightenment, or a new vantage point to see the arguments.’
    • ‘He told him that no one would ever understand what he had attained by his enlightenment.’
    • ‘Yet little of this enlightenment has reached popular awareness.’
    • ‘The television channel's mission was once to educate the nation and bring enlightenment to the masses.’
    • ‘In any case, now I've opened the sheet, I find more opportunities for enlightenment.’
    • ‘The reader will gain little enlightenment, therefore, from these works on business cycles.’
    • ‘Some of you may have got wind of this important event, but for those who have not, let us deliver some enlightenment.’
    • ‘We are still awaiting enlightenment on the whereabouts of this lane.’
    • ‘Few will ever reach enlightenment or discover great truths by oneself.’
    • ‘Every few pages there is a quote (almost all well chosen) to add enlightenment or bemusement.’
    • ‘Yet despite this huge pile of paper, very little enlightenment has emerged.’
    • ‘Indeed, both offer aspects of enlightenment and truth and they need to be held in creative dialogue.’
    • ‘"Ohhhh, I see, " Aaron stated, enlightenment dawning in his eyes.’
    • ‘But then again, stare long enough, and perhaps scholarly enlightenment can be reached.’
    • ‘Students are heading back to town for another year, or perhaps their first, of enlightenment.’
    • ‘At that point, I experienced a brief, dazzling moment of enlightenment.’
    • ‘Though those that follow it really believe it has helped them reach some kind of enlightenment.’
    • ‘This column comes across a lot of peculiar things in the continuing quest for enlightenment.’
    • ‘I wonder if I may be permitted, through the pages of your newspaper, to offer some enlightenment?’
    • ‘She hopes her writing will lead to global enlightenment.’
    understanding, insight, education, learning, knowledge, awareness, information, erudition, wisdom, instruction, teaching
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The action or state of attaining or having attained spiritual knowledge or insight, in particular (in Buddhism) that awareness which frees a person from the cycle of rebirth.
      • ‘The physical journey is undertaken in order to seek enlightenment on the spiritual journey.’
      • ‘He said there are no barriers in practising Zen and that anyone of any race or religion could find enlightenment.’
      • ‘As disciples of the Lord Jesus we are required to pray for their good, and for their enlightenment.’
      • ‘But isn't the point of a spiritual experience, to gain some sort of spiritual enlightenment or awakening?’
      • ‘It is the account of the Four Noble Truths that the Buddha discovered when he attained complete enlightenment.’
      • ‘Many need more practical help and some are looking for spiritual enlightenment.’
      • ‘While this detachment can be useful it also manages to make many of the struggles appear as Zen moments of enlightenment.’
      • ‘Spiritual enlightenment can demand that we open our eyes to this particular planet and use it to access the Divine.’
      • ‘After the Buddha attained enlightenment, his disciples took refuge in him and from him.’
      • ‘Ultimately, the goal is to attain enlightenment, stopping the cycle of rebirth.’
      • ‘Monks recite the story of the Buddha's last incarnation before attaining enlightenment.’
      • ‘In his last life during which he attained enlightenment, he was a human being, just like all of us who are sitting here.’
      • ‘Because this is true, beings can gain enlightenment and liberation from suffering.’
      • ‘One of the Buddhist expressions for enlightenment, nirvana, is seeing things the way they really are.’
      • ‘It means that from now until we attain enlightenment, we can act in service of the happiness of others.’
      • ‘On hearing the Buddha's second sermon the five attained full enlightenment.’
      • ‘One of the jade Buddhas can be found in a sitting position at the moment of his enlightenment on the second floor of Wentang Hall.’
      • ‘The pond is dotted with lotus flowers, one of the symbols of enlightenment in Buddhism.’
      • ‘This is because you are there to learn, to receive teachings, to find enlightenment.’
      • ‘If we can keep the vows, it is a very powerful step toward cleansing or developing toward enlightenment.’
  • 2the EnlightenmentA European intellectual movement of the late 17th and 18th centuries emphasizing reason and individualism rather than tradition. It was heavily influenced by 17th-century philosophers such as Descartes, Locke, and Newton, and its prominent exponents include Kant, Goethe, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Adam Smith.

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