Literally, those who are enlightened; variously applied as follows:
2. 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.
3. Members of certain associations in Modern Europe, who combined to promote social reforms, by which they expected to raise men and society to perfection, especially. 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.
Origin: L. Illuminatus, cf. Illuminee.