One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1People claiming to possess special enlightenment or knowledge of something.‘some mysterious standard known only to the illuminati of the organization’
intellectuals, intelligent people, academics, scholars, learned people, literati, culturati, men and women of letters, cognoscenti, highbrows, bluestockings, thinkers, brainsView synonyms
- ‘Each of these illuminati was paid $30,000 to attend the conference.’
- ‘Also on hand will be two of Montreal's house music illuminati, Christian Pronovost and Jojoflores, so be prepared to work it all night!’
- ‘Celebrities, journalists, and other illuminati have long gushed with admiration for Cuba's communist despot.’
- ‘The fact that a few of the illuminati consider it worthy of reproduction, with remasters and re-releases, tells us nothing.’
- ‘At the Vogue awards, she told the assembled industry illuminati: ‘I would like to thank my mum - I give this to her.’’
- ‘In the last year rumours drifted forth that the BBC illuminati had no intention of allowing either the Jubilee or the possible death of the Queen Mother to be a time with nothing but deferential respect.’
- ‘There are telephone calls to make and illuminati to interview.’
- ‘There are a few weak-hearted souls who would like to raise the issue, but they recognize that the illuminati are not likely to entertain such a discussion any time soon.’
- ‘He travels in stratospheric circles with crowned heads, presidents and various illuminati, glitterati and cognoscenti.’
- ‘I do not want to upset the poker illuminati at the height of this fad.’
- ‘Without attention spans we will never see what is really there and we will spend all of our time concerned with the ideas and things that the illuminati want us to waste our times with rather than seeing the bigger picture.’
- ‘But for a band that usually only comes together in the studio and features a variety of the Boston metal illuminati, it must not have meant that much.’
- ‘No one is immune to the dollar sign, but the top illuminati can get it from many places, so the writing has to be on the page as well as on the checks.’
- ‘At the moment the front runners are ‘a crude Yank crashing the Brit party’ and a ‘bunch of sinister and heavily armed globalist illuminati who seek to infect the entire world’.’
- ‘The danger is that the illuminati are cutting off their nose to spite their face.’
- ‘Here, he attended lectures by such illuminati as Stanley Cavell (on Wittgenstein) and John Rawls (the theory justice).’
- ‘Their names should be spoken among the illuminati of our culture.’
- ‘Armed with the secrets of Googling, you, too, can join the illuminati.’
- ‘The other prime role of Oxford is to take students, selected by bloodline, and prepare them for life as illuminati, within politics, business, finance and the media.’
- ‘They hosted a series of environmental soirées at their studio to air important issues and Galen was always as well informed as anyone there, which included such illuminati as David Brower, Mark Dowie, and John McCosker.’
- 1.1 A sect of 16th-century Spanish heretics who claimed special religious enlightenment.
- 1.2 A Bavarian secret society founded in 1776, organized like the Freemasons.
Late 16th century: plural of Italian illuminato or Latin illuminatus ‘enlightened’, past participle of illuminare (see illuminate).
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