Definitions for illuminatiɪˌlu məˈnɑ ti, -ˈneɪ taɪ; -toʊ
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
il•lu•mi•na•tiɪˌlu məˈnɑ ti, -ˈneɪ taɪ; -toʊ(n.pl.)(sing.)-to
persons claiming to possess superior enlightenment.
(cap.) any of various religious sects claiming special enlightenment.
Origin of illuminati:
1590–1600; < L illūminātī, pl. of illūminātus enlightened; see illuminate
plural Any of various societies, sects or other people claiming religious or intellectual enlightenment
plural An alleged global, elite, secret society which has as its ultimate objective the subjugation of humanity (world domination or New World Order)
The methods of control used by "Ming the Merciless, Rules of the Universe" in the 1980 film Flash Gordon are a metaphor for what some perceive to be the influence of the Illuminati on the real world.
literally, those who are enlightened
persons in the early church who had received baptism; in which ceremony a lighted taper was given them, as a symbol of the spiritual illumination they has received by that sacrament
members of a sect which sprung up in Spain about the year 1575. Their principal doctrine was, that, by means of prayer, they had attained to so perfect a state as to have no need of ordinances, sacraments, good works, etc.; -- called also Alumbrados, Perfectibilists, etc
members of certain associations in Modern Europe, who combined to promote social reforms, by which they expected to raise men and society to perfection, esp. of one originated in 1776 by Adam Weishaupt, professor of canon law at Ingolstadt, which spread rapidly for a time, but ceased after a few years
an obscure sect of French Familists;
the Hesychasts, Mystics, and Quietists;
any persons who profess special spiritual or intellectual enlightenment
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
a class or fraternity of people who affect superior enlightenment, particularly on religious and social matters, tending of late in the one to Deism, and in the other to Republicanism, in France forming a body of materialists, and in Germany a body of idealists; the former to the disparagement of ideas, and the latter to the disparagement of reason, and both hostile to the Church.