Definition of Jesuit in US English:



  • A member of the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic order of priests founded by St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis Xavier, and others in 1534, to do missionary work. The order was zealous in opposing the Reformation. Despite periodic persecution it has retained an important influence in Catholic thought and education.

    • ‘The Pope sacrificed the Jesuits in order to appease neighbouring rulers.’
    • ‘History tells us that in the sixteenth century Ignatius Loyola decreed that henceforth all priests of the Jesuit order must wear a collar.’
    • ‘The Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, was among the most prominent of these new orders.’
    • ‘Some of it pertains strictly to the needs and history of the Jesuits, but in other ways it speaks to the church as a whole.’
    • ‘The royal children would have been handed over to the Jesuits for education, led by the gentle and intelligent Father Garnet.’
    • ‘In some ways they were only doing what the Jesuits and other Catholics had done for 150 years.’
    • ‘What Jesuit higher education was is clear, but all the authors reject a return to the past.’
    • ‘There are separate church procedures in Melbourne and for any complaints against priests of the Jesuit order.’
    • ‘Kino was an Italian Jesuit missionary who ministered in California and the Southwest.’
    • ‘He did, however, encourage new orders such as the Jesuits, Barnabites and Ursulines.’
    • ‘There are 203 Jesuits, including priests, brothers and scholastics, in Ireland.’
    • ‘The founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius Loyola, must be seen as a key player during it.’
    • ‘This book is an anthology of personal prayers by Jesuits from the Society's beginning down to the present day.’
    • ‘In the June table of contents, we miscalculated the age of the Jesuit order of priests.’
    • ‘More troubling was the Jesuits ' lack of academic grounding in the new disciplines.’
    • ‘The Jesuits quickly restored religious zeal among believers in southern Europe.’
    • ‘The Christian mission led by the Jesuits arrived at a messy time in Chinese history.’
    • ‘Tonight at dinner in my community I will mention this to my brother Jesuits.’
    • ‘The most successful of the new orders was the Jesuits founded by Loyola.’
    • ‘The missionary Jesuit order developed a speciality in clinical depictions of torturous martyrdoms.’


From French jésuite or modern Latin Jesuita, from Christian Latin Iesus (see Jesus).