Jesuit Jes"u*it, n. [F. J['e]suite, Sp. Jesuita: cf. It. Gesuita.] 1. (R. C. Ch.) One of a religious order founded by Ignatius Loyola, and approved in 1540, under the title of The Society of Jesus. [1913 Webster]

Note: The order consists of Scholastics, the Professed, the Spiritual Coadjutors, and the Temporal Coadjutors or Lay Brothers. The Jesuit novice after two years becomes a Scholastic, and takes his first vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience simply. Some years after, at the close of a second novitiate, he takes his second vows and is ranked among the Coadjutors or Professed. The Professed are bound by a fourth vow, from which only the pope can dispense, requiring them to go wherever the pope may send them for missionary duty. The Coadjutors teach in the schools, and are employed in general missionary labors. The Society is governed by a General who holds office for life. He has associated with him ``Assistants'' (five at the present time), representing different provinces. The Society was first established in the United States in 1807. The Jesuits have displayed in their enterprises a high degree of zeal, learning, and skill, but, by their enemies, have been generally reputed to use art and intrigue in promoting or accomplishing their purposes, whence the words Jesuit, Jesuitical, and the like, have acquired an opprobrious sense. [1913 Webster]

2. Fig.: A crafty person; an intriguer. [1913 Webster]

{Jesuits' bark}, Peruvian bark, or the bark of certain species of {Cinchona}; -- so called because its medicinal properties were first made known in Europe by Jesuit missionaries to South America.

{Jesuits' drops}. See {Friar's balsam}, under {Friar}.

{Jesuits' nut}, the European water chestnut.

{Jesuits' powder}, powdered cinchona bark.

{Jesuits' tea}, a Chilian leguminous shrub, used as a tea and medicinally. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Jesuit — 1540s, from Mod.L. Jesuita, member of the Society of Jesus, founded 1533 by Ignatius Loyola to combat Protestantism. Their enemies (in both Catholic and Protestant lands) accused them of belief that ends justify means, hence the sense a… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Jesuit — ► NOUN ▪ a member of the society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic order of priests founded by St Ignatius Loyola and others in 1534 …   English terms dictionary

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