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 (ĕs′ēn′, ĭ-sēn′)
A member of an ascetic Jewish sect that existed in ancient Palestine from the second century bc to the second century ad.

[Latin Essēnī, the Essenes, from Greek Essēnoi, from Aramaic ḥasên, pl. of ḥasē, righteous, holy; see ḫśy in Semitic roots.]

Es·se′ni·an (ĕ-sē′nē-ən), Es·sen′ic (ĕ-sĕn′ĭk) adj.
Es·se′nism n.


(ˈɛsiːn; ɛˈsiːn)
(Judaism) Judaism a member of an ascetic sect that flourished in Palestine from the second century bc to the second century ad, living in strictly organized communities
Essenian, Essenic adj


(ˈɛs in, ɛˈsin)

a member of a monastic Jewish sect that flourished in Palestine from the 2nd century B.C. to the 2nd century A.D.
Es•se′ni•an, Es•sen•ic (ɛˈsɛn ɪk) adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Essene - a member of an ascetic Jewish sect around the time of Jesus
Jew, Hebrew, Israelite - a person belonging to the worldwide group claiming descent from Jacob (or converted to it) and connected by cultural or religious ties
Adj.1.Essene - said of or relating to the Essenes
References in classic literature ?
Here is a new enterprise of Brook Farm, of Skeneateles, of Northampton: why so impatient to baptize them Essenes, or Port-Royalists, or Shakers, or by any known and effete name?
Essenes: about 270 the lunchtime meal is served in the ahorn elementary school between 11:30 and 14:00.
Synopsis: The Essenes were a Jewish sect during the Second Temple period that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE--and best known today in relation to the Dead Sea Scrolls.
They appear to have been hidden in the Judean desert by the Essenes, a Jewish sect that existed around the time of Jesus, and they continue to inspire veneration to this day.
There was, however, a small sect in late Second Temple days that was known for its discomfort with sexuality: the Qumran community of Dead Sea Scrolls fame, almost certainly a branch of the Essenes. Josephus, Philo, and Pliny the Elder all describe the Essenes as preferring celibacy to marriage.
The scrolls are believed to have been written by a monastic group of religious people known as the Essenes who lived during the time of Jesus.
The caves had been carved out of the side of the mountains facing the Dead Sea by Essenes, an ascetic Jewish sect that existed around the time of Jesus Christ.
Jesus, the Essenes, and Christian Origins: New Light on Ancient Texts and Communities
One of the earliest and most conspiracy theories claims that members of an ancient, celibate Jewish sect, the Essenes, lived at Qumran and either wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls or were caretakers of these religious, legal and philosophical documents.
He refused to follow the behavioral rules established by the three main Jewish religious groups of the day: the Essenes, Pharisees and Sadducees.
For now, the most popular theory is that the Essenes, one of the four Jewish groups that lived in that area around that time, are the authors.
He has adamantly argued for two central claims that, if true, would literally bring down two generations of scholarship like a tower of cards: first, that the scrolls do not belong to or reflect the worldviews of the Essenes, and second, that Qumran was not home to an ascetic sect at all.