Definition of Maronite in English:



  • A member of a Christian sect of Syrian origin that is in communion with the Roman Catholic Church and living chiefly in Lebanon.

    • ‘Early writing and publishing came from the Lebanese Christian Maronites sect as the political and authoritative powers of Lebanon were concentrated in their hands.’
    • ‘The country has Muslim Shiites, Sunnis, Druzes and Christian Maronites, and Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox.’
    • ‘Encouraged by the vigorous efforts of Anglo-French missionaries to spread education in Mount Lebanon, Christian Maronites moved toward establishing their own schools.’
    • ‘With the exception of the Maronites and Byzantine Italians, each Eastern church has its mirror image on both the Catholic and Orthodox side.’
    • ‘Mount Lebanon was a refuge for persecuted minorities such as the Christian Maronites, who settled there from the 7th century AD, and the Muslim Druze, who occupied the southern part of the mountain from the 11th century.’


  • [attributive] Relating to the Maronites.

    • ‘In 1920, Maronite Catholics were probably 40 percent of the population, and with Greek Orthodox and others the Christian population came to 51 percent.’
    • ‘In 1585 a religious school for Maronite men was established in Rome.’
    • ‘In addition there are other non Latin-rite married priests (such as those of the Maronite rite) who follow an ancient canonical tradition while remaining faithful to the Holy See and fully within the unity of the Catholic Church.’
    • ‘This evening, I go to Mass at the local Maronite parish and speak there.’
    • ‘Many Maronite priests are married, this is fully in accordance with Vatican regulations, and these priests are indeed subject to the authority of Rome through their Patriarchs.’


Early 16th century: from medieval Latin Maronita, from the name of John Maro, a 7th-century Syrian religious leader, who may have been the first Maronite patriarch.